Whitby – One Month On

WHITBY by night3

First and foremost : A huge thank you to all the wonderful people I met, interviewed, chatted with, photographed and spent time with in Whitby, London, Manchester, Vancouver and all the other stops along the way.   It was brilliant to meet so many folks who were willing to share their stories and be part of this project – thank you for donating your time to my research.

I owe particular thanks to the people I spoke with in Whitby at both the Bram Stoker International Film Festival and the Whitby Goth Weekend.  Thank you for giving up valuable festival time to talk with me about your experiences in the Goth Subculture.

I truly appreciate the efforts you made to fit this project into your schedule. Your honesty, good humour, acceptance, generosity and integrity is a rare and wonderful thing and your contributions are greatly valued.

Bram Stoker International Film Festival 2015

From a research perspective, the weeks in Whitby are critical to the data-gathering phase of my study and time spent there has generated material which I will draw on throughout my project including lots of fantastic conversations and visuals.

From a personal perspective, the trip was hugely inspiring and has renewed my commitment to pursue this research and to write about the Goth subculture.

At a time when so much energy seems to be devoted to writing about societal division it is of some comfort to be reflecting on experiences of belonging.


 

Bram Stoker International Film Festival 2015

 Where to from here?

For the immediate future, I am working through the data I amassed overseas and writing up my notes.

Then, it is time for the Australian contingent!

I will be scheduling interviews in Australia over the next few months, and will reopen the Australian survey to correspond with these interviews.

 

Once again, thank you to everyone who has contributed to and supported this research.

Cheers,

Emma

          Whitby Goth Weekend 2015 (October)

 

 

Advertisements

World Goth Day

Happy World Goth Day!

This post is dedicated all those who have invested time, effort, thought and feeling

to improving understanding of the Goth Subculture.

Express your belief in love and tolerance :

Please donate to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

 


I have been involved in the Goth scene for more than 25 years.  It is fair to say it is not an incidental part of my life, but a jolly significant one.

Undertaking this research project has required me to reconsider what the subculture – and even the word – really means to me.

How has it informed, shaped and influenced my life?  How do I feel about Goth now that my forties are marching by?  How has my relationship with Goth changed?  How was I labelled Goth in the first place?  For years I skirted around the word, denied it, smirked at it… but really there was no denying it… I had to admit…

I am a Goth 

Once that unpleasantness was behind me, I asked myself – well, why Goth?

It may not look like much to some, but it's ours...

It may not look like much to some, but it’s ours…

To my mind, my musical preferences have never been that extreme, I don’t worship Satan (maybe satin a little), I have never thought of myself as a darkling and negative commentary about dangerous youth cultures seemed unrelated to me.

For me, being involved in the Goth scene has taken many forms over the years:  from pretentious teenager (ok, I can admit it now, the velvet cape in the Australian Summer was too much), to serious art-school student, to Goth-Industrial dance-floor devotee, to incognito manager (yes, Goth to Boss), and back to Trad Goth university researcher waxing lyrical about the Goth subculture.

With this reflection has come the realisation that the very characteristics which prevented me from fitting in to mainstream youth culture and originally propelled me towards Goth when I was young have, over time, become very important to me indeed:   bookishness, scholarly debate, rejection of vacuous and syrupy pop culture, curiosity and acceptance of the slightly weird, rejection of narrow-mindedness …

For me, the experience of being in the Goth scene – participating in Goth events – has always been comfortable and for me that is the core of it.  I enjoy the intimacy of the smaller venues, the familiar faces, indeed even the familiar set lists.  I never cared what people called us, I knew we were having a ball, we loved the fog machines, the (feigned!?!) melancholia, the audacious and poetic clothing with its inferred antiquity and the layers allusion in the music.

So, this year I have chosen to celebrate World Goth Day and be proud.

To everyone celebrating World Goth Day today – however you choose to do it – be proud and have a fabulous day!

Celebrate with me - here, have some bat cake.....

Celebrate with me – here, have some bat cake…..

Thank you for the survey contributions, keep them coming!