There has been a debate going around the web surrounding the commercialization of goth. I would like to briefly address this idea within the context of lower-class participants in the subculture who feel goth has become an unaffordable lifestyle due to its supposedly expensive aesthetic. Since we each do our part to keep the scene inclusive, I hope the questions posed and topics addressed in this three-part series will launch constructive discourse.
Traditional gothic fiction is characterized by an atmosphere of mystery and terror caused by the unknown with strong themes of repression, paranormal, melodrama and an emphasis on setting which often features religious dualities of good and evil (morality and immorality). The genre being named after the architectural movement: cathedrals, castles and monasteries which are imagined to be laden with somber corners, underground passages, secret rooms and trap doors represent inner turmoil coming from the main and surrounding characters. A large part of the gothic focuses on the return of the settings’ hidden past (sometimes a buried family secret or an unspoken history) as well as the taboo (sexuality, abortion, murder – especially matricide/patricide – violation of religious beliefs…etc). This could be done through omens or foreboding atmosphere. Would the genre be shaped or redefined if it was given an African diasporan framework, and featured black characters? Could Octavia Butler, Toni Morison, Maryse Condé and Aimé Césaire be described as authors of gothic novels? Or would their narratives redefine the genre? Perhaps they might even create something new entirely…
Popular media’s image of black men has had a significantly strong impact on our society. It poses a danger to these men, who are often shown as angry, aggressive, uncontrollable and consequently perceived as such. Jordan Peele’s Get Out challenges this. His use of aesthetics of unease and foreboding sound are elements deeply rooted in the goth subculture. Joshua Gunn’s text “Dark Admissions”1 could help to better explore the topic of gothic horror film Get Out as a new form of expression for black men. When does horror fiction and music subculture cross the line of the representation of black body terror from imaginary to fact?
Here are the many ways you can get a frightening fro!
Hey Fab Bats! As a character with dark skin (E39 leather Copic marker to be exact), the concept of pale skin as the gothic beauty ideal has crossed my mind several times. Today, I’d to take a moment to explore it with you. Does pale foundation mean one is ashamed of their skin color? Is this a problem we should address? Sit down, pass around the tea and discuss.
Hey Fab Bats! What’s been happening these days?
Let’s take 1/2 a minute to appreciate Black Goths. Not as invisible as they once were, their presence on social media has made many more comfortable expressing their dark side…