Dark culture

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Dark culture (German Schwarze Szene, Portuguese cultura obscura, Spanish escena oscura, Italian scena Dark or scena gotica), also called dark alternative scene, includes goth and dark wave culture, electro subculture (with genres like electro-industrial, aggrotech and dark electro) and parts of the neofolk and post-industrial subcultures.[1] In this context the "culture" is not to be understood as closed subculture, but as social environment, a milieu, which comprises people with similar interests and preferences (e.g. "dark music").[2]


Dark culture's origin lies in followers of dark wave and independent music, but over the decades it has developed to a social network held together by a common concept of aesthetics, self-representation, and individualism. The musical preferences of the dark scene are characterized by a mix of styles ranging from futurism, electropop, early music, (neo-) classical,and folk music to punk rock, rock, techno and ambient music.[3]

Common interests include music, art, and fashion as well as philosophy, new religious movements, or themes perceived by society as negative or taboo. Against backdrop of individualism, confrontation in particular with themes such as death, mortality, sadness, mourning, melancholy, psychology and psychopathology takes place.

The scene is not to be understood as a musically or aesthetically closed and homogenous group. It is composed of many different currents, some of which may be diametrically opposed in their musical or fashion ideals. The lowest common denominator is the color black with all its associated symbolism. It is seen as an expression of seriousness, darkness and mysticism, but also of hopelessness and emptiness, melancholy, as well as its association with mourning and death.[3][4] The dark scene is a community which defines itself through its internal symbols, the characteristic fashions of the different currents, as well as through its media and meeting places, especially events and dance clubs.


  1. ^ Arvid Dittmann · Artificial Tribes · Page 147 · 2001 · ISBN 3-933773-11-3
  2. ^ Peter Matzke / Tobias Seeliger · Gothic! · Page 15 · 2000 · ISBN 3-89602-332-2
  3. ^ a b Alexander Nym (2010), Alexander Nym (ed.), "Die Gothic-Szene gibt es nicht", Schillerndes Dunkel: Geschichte, Entwicklung und Themen der Gothic-Szene (in German), Leipzig: Plötter Verlag, pp. 13–15, hier S. 13, ISBN 978-3-86211-006-3
  4. ^ Doris Schmidt; Heinz Janalik (2000), Grufties. Jugendkultur in Schwarz (in German), Baltmannsweiler: Schneider, p. 40, ISBN 3-89676-342-3