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Image courtesy of Bryan Dollery

Goth culture, then and now

by Gizem Melek

Imagine a young couple wearing black clothing accessorized with metal and chains. The girl has hair dyed jet black and dark eyeliner. The boy tall, thin and pale has piercings all over his face.

A dark and free spectacle, you might not agree with the fashion statement, but you have to admit it is interesting to look at.

This is a regular sight in Camden Town, North London, where Goth culture is more alive than ever. We went there to get a taste of it, because the experience is free.

With its unique style and pubs, Camden is one of the most attractive towns in London. Without charge, you can spend a fabulous day immersed in many diverse cultures.

Hidden away, there are many shops where you can find unusual clothes, which you would not find on another high street.

The cult of 'gothism' is so strong that you can even come across a shop that sells Gothic pieces of furniture at very reasonably prices.

But what is behind this culture that is so prevalent in Camden?

Shedding light on the dark

Goth is a sub-culture which came about from the punk influence in late 1970s and early 80s.

Anthony H. Wilson, manager of the band Joy Division’s, is known for establishing the name of the culture, by defining the band as “Gothic”  and anti-pop bands.

Gothic culture was launched in the Thatcher and Reagen period. Two of the most influential politicans at the time. It came about to oppose the neo-liberal politics of that time.

The philosophy behind the culture "dilemmas are part of life; good and bad, darkness and lightness."

Goth legends

Gothic culture has also created its own legends in every field of the arts. In music, “Sister of Mercy”, “Siouxsie and Banshees”, “Damned”, “The Cure”, “Mission”, “Fields of the Nephilim” and “Bauhaus” all follow the trend.

In literature, poets like “Lord Byron”, “Dante”, “Anne Rice” and “Shelley” who treat death as a beloved theme are representatives of the movement.

In cinema, one of the most representative films is the German expressionist vampire horror film “Nosferatu”. Other popular films are “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” and “Dracula”.

 

 

 

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