Gothic is a culture that is almost 40 years old and struggles with one or the other prejudice. To find the answer to the question of what Gothic actually is, we have put together facts on the subject.
What is Gothic?
Gothic is part of a subculture that emerged from other cultures at the beginning of the 1980s. The Gothic culture is now made up of several splinter cultures. In addition to the smaller yet numerous cultures, the parallel cultures of the Goths and the Batcavers as well as black and endromatic people are part of the scene.
- The color black serves on the one hand to distinguish it from other groups, on the other hand it represents a link between the Goths.
- Topics in the black scene are death and the impermanence of all things and that of humans. Thus there is an awareness of the downside of life.
- The distinguishing features of the so-called Goths are partly different. Due to the different styles of music, the followers sometimes wear medieval costumes, pick up the baroque style or are more plain, but still dressed in black.
- The horror literature has a significant influence on the self-presentation and the appearance of the followers. Important German-language works are ” Der Sandmann “, ” Das Bettelweib von Locarno ” and ” Das Marmorbild “.
- Goths are in a peaceful mood because they do not pursue any political goals and also have no ideology or political opinion within the scene.
- For them, cemeteries are a focal point for peace and solitude. They are drawn to grief and suffering, but also to the peace and mysticism of these places.
The “Wave Gothic Meeting”
The “WGT” takes place once a year in Germany and is visited by around 20,000 fans of the Gothic scene, but also by onlookers. The visitors also come from countries like Denmark or England.
- The meeting takes place annually on the weekend of Pentecost, among other places, at the agrar exhibition center in Leipzig.
- In 2018, a total of 224 artists performed during the festival.
- The WGT has existed since 1992 and has grown steadily until today. At first only music from the wave and gothic scene was played. Today the event offers medieval markets, exhibitions and lectures, but also parties and workshops.
- Highlights include the Victorian picnic in Clara Zetkin Park and a guided tour of the South Cemetery.
- It has been possible to get married at the festival since 2017. The weddings take place underground and in proper style in the former cellar of the Pleißenburg.
- There is an open air stage and a medieval market in the so-called “pagan village”. This is also available to non-followers.
- The very first meeting took place after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of the GDR regime in Leipzig’s ice cellar with around 2000 Gothics.
Self-presentation in Gothic culture
In addition to dealing with topics such as death and suffering, self-staging is also particularly important in Gothic. It is not about depicting death or appearing depressed. In search of themselves, Goths deal with life and the sudden end in a philosophical way.
- The self-portrayal serves to express one’s own personality and to set oneself apart from the masses.
- Garments that are reminiscent of the Baroque and Gothic periods are popular. Elaborate decorative elements, decorative applications and accessories are decisive.
- Although the color black plays a role in most of the Goths’ outfits, the costumes are still versatile and, above all, eye-catching. There are also combinations with the colors red, white or blue.
- An important part of every costume is the silver jewelry. The choice here is large. Rings , chains and earrings are often engraved and lavishly decorated with ornaments.
For festivals like the “WGT”, Gothic fans tailor their outfits themselves and plan a different costume for each day.
- A common distinguishing feature are the black boots , often with platform soles, lots of straps and rivets.
- When it comes to make-up , Goths mainly use the colors black and white. The latter usually forms the foundation and is spread over the entire face. The eyes are highlighted with black decorations.
A contrast program to the themes of Gothic is kawaii . In the next article we will explain exactly what that is and why this culture is less about the downside of life.