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GOTH CULTURE IN THE FORMER GDR AS PRACTICE OF LONGING AND CRYING

The goth culture is a subculture that has been around for decades and has gone through numerous interpretations and iterations in different countries around the world. It is characterized by a dark and often melancholic aesthetic, and is often associated with music and fashion. This essay will explore the beginnings of goth culture in the UK, focusing on the influence of the band Depeche Mode and the gothic culture in the former GDR. The goth culture in the UK has its roots in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when punk and post-punk bands such as Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division and Bauhaus were popular. This period was characterized by a dark, moody aesthetic and an exploration of themes such as death, despair, and alienation. It was during this time that Depeche Mode, a British electronic music band, began to gain popularity with their dark, synth-driven sound. The band’s influence on goth culture has been documented by many scholars and music journalists. Depeche Mode’s influence on goth culture was particularly strong in the former GDR (East Germany). The band’s music was highly influential on the goth scene in the GDR, which was burgeoning during the late 1980s and early 1990s. As Sascha Lange, a musician and journalist who was active in the goth scene in the former GDR, explains: “Depeche Mode had a huge impact on the goth scene in the GDR. We had a big underground music scene, and Depeche Mode was an important part of it.” Lange also explains that the goth scene in the former GDR was heavily influenced by the aesthetics of the UK goth scene. He states: “The goth scene in the GDR was heavily influenced by the UK goth scene. We were inspired by the music, fashion and aesthetic of the UK goth scene and adapted it to our own needs and tastes.” This is evidenced by the fact that goth clubs in the former GDR often featured bands such as Depeche Mode, as well as other British bands such as Bauhaus and The Cure. The influence of the UK goth scene in the former GDR also extended to other aspects of culture. For example, the goth culture in the former GDR was heavily influenced by British literature and art. As Lange explains: “We were also inspired by British literature and art. We were exposed to the works of authors such as Oscar Wilde, William Blake and the Pre-Raphaelites, and these works had a strong influence on our aesthetic.” This influence is evident in the artwork and fashion of goth culture in the former GDR, which featured dark, romantic and often surrealistic imagery. The influence of the UK goth scene in the former GDR was also evident in the music of the time. As Lange explains: “The music of the GDR goth scene was heavily influenced by the music of the UK goth scene. We listened to bands such as Depeche Mode, Bauhaus, The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees, and we also had our own bands that played a similar style of music.” This influence is evident in the music of bands such as Tumult, a German gothic rock band that was active in the GDR in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In conclusion, the UK goth scene had a strong influence on the development of goth culture in the former GDR. The music of Depeche Mode and other British bands was highly influential, as were the aesthetics and literature of the UK goth scene, that were starting point for a process of longing and crying. This influence is evident in the artwork, fashion and music of the goth scene in the former GDR. The goth culture in the former GDR was a unique and underground culture, and its influence continues to be felt in goth culture around the world.

SOURCES

https://museumofyouthculture.com/goth/

https://www.ox-fanzine.de/interview/sascha-lange-6884

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