We’re Getting Closer

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The Melbourne Gothic & Victorian Picnic, October 2017

It has been some time since I posted – so I thought I’d write a quick update.


Over the last few months I have been buried deep in the analysis of data for this research and am beginning to properly draft my PhD.   Survey responses came from all over the world, as illustrated below, and working through responses has been a huge – and hugely rewarding – task.   For the first part of 2018 my primary occupation will be writing up my thesis, and I hope to be closer to completion by this time next year.  During that time I will be able to post more regular updates.

It’s a long process… but we’re getting closer!

Respondent Location Data by Region

Just a Phase?  Respondent Data by region


For this research I have travelled to many countries, particularly in Europe, to attend Goth and alternative culture events, gigs, festivals, concerts and all sorts of gatherings.

The sense of community has been amazing.

Like other socially active groups we have developed common rituals, aesthetics and behaviours (clothing, dance styles, etc), which inform our personal interactions and provide comfortable social boundaries.  Of course, like all communities, not everyone in the Goth scene gets along; there can be rivalries and occasional bitching.  In my experience however, this has been minimal and has not disrupted the overwhelmingly positive mood of these events.

One of the principal characteristics of the culture observed on these trips has been participants  respectful collective response to one another when in large crowds; a consistent pattern of courteous social interaction and generally polite deportment.  …And an ever-present dark sense of humour.  The Goth community has developed natural, unspoken, yet internationally understood, etiquette responses which allow such events to progress amicably, irrespective of language barriers or other impediments to communication.

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The Melbourne Gothic & Victorian Picnic, October 2017

Most recently the Melbourne Gothic and Victorian Picnic was a fabulous display of the Australian Goth community:  brilliantly organised and well patronised by a glorious array of attendees.

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The Melbourne Gothic & Victorian Picnic, October 2017

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M’era Luna Festival, Germany, August 2017

At M’era Luna earlier this year it was overwhelming to be in the midst of such an enormous crowd of like-minded folk [25,000+], almost all of whom were considerate and welcoming.  Family groups stood alongside young Goths as well as veterans of the culture, in all manner of couture, each enjoying the atmosphere and entertainment.

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M’era Luna Festival, Germany, August 2017

There were many examples of generosity, humour and good will despite some fairly dismal weather, more mud than is decent, and often extremely long queues…

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M’era Luna Festival [Aftermath: Bondage Barbie], Germany, August 2017

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Infest Festival [Tardis Time], Bradford, England August 2017

Infest was similarly outstanding, as it always has been, with a great crowd in attendance every night and bands responding brilliantly to the energy in the room.

At each of these events I have collected a mass of visual and interview data as well as reflecting on my own experience in the Goth community and the importance these social events play in maintaining connections to and within the Goth culture.

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Infest Festival, Bradford, England August 2017

There have been a number of other events –  Whitby of course and lots of gigs etc – which I will document more fully later.

Thank you to everyone who made time to chat, I loved almost* every minute of it!

Once my research is completed I hope to publish images collected as part of this study in my thesis and will also post updates on planned future photographic projects next year.

Emma

*Almost…  I am especially thankful to the lovely people who provided assistance and support at the Sisters gig at Camden Roundhouse when I was knocked unconscious by a crowd-surfer – thank you!  …all part of the fun!     

 

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Melbourne Gothic and Victorian Picnic, October 2017

 

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Surveys Closed

May 28th 2016 –  Quick Update

The surveys for Goth – Just a Phase? are now closed.

I have received over 2000 responses to the surveys,  as well as conducting dozens of interviews, online chats, and discussions with people from all over the world. 

It has been amazing!Sureys Closed Small

I always welcome talking to people about their experiences in the Goth subculture, so please contact me directly if you wish to be involved.

Thank you again to everyone who has participated in this project.

Emma

Happy World Goth Day 2016

001 Happy World Goth Day 2016

Today we celebrate World Goth Day!

To everyone who has found belonging, happiness, comfort and excitement in this fascinating culture, I wish you a fabulous day.   It is a day to celebrate  – so play your music loud, crimp your hair or perhaps eat glittery bat cookies!

May 22nd 2016 also marks the anniversary of Goth – Just a Phase? data collection and the formal close of the survey period.

Thank you again to all the wonderful people who completed my survey and to those I have interviewed for this project over the last year.

The research to date has provided insights into the different experiences of belonging in the Goth Culture around the world –  from hundreds of different perspectives.   I have been fortunate enough to talk to people from many different backgrounds, time-zones and life experience as well as Goths (and ex-Goths) of different ages.   I now look forward to reading through the data with a finer comb and teasing (and crimping) out all the details.

Over the next week or so I will be finalising interviews and closing off the surveys.

Goth – Just a Phase? One year on –  a snapshot…

I will continue to publish here and and on social media, and look forward to sharing my findings as the project continues.

If you are still keen to be involved please contact me directly – all contributions are valuable and add to our story.

WGD Bats 30Happy World Goth Day!

Emma