Pagan Love Songs: Goth Subculture, Religiosity, and Occultism

Raven Digitalis, author of Goth Craft: The Magickal Side of Dark Culture, argues that “The Craft [of Wicca] very well may be the path that vibes best with Goth culture, not only because of its mystical allure, but also because of its emphasis on nature, magick, and the self all being interlinked, as well as the […]

Voodoo People: Sex, Power, African Faith And Fear in Popular Entertainment

Voodoo People collage

Colored by fascination, fetishism, and even a degree of fear, Hollywood’s portrayal of this enigmatic and little-understood folk faith of the African diaspora throws up cliches about the African seductress, South American culture, etc., and, perhaps unintentionally, highlights certain certain cultural traumas in European-descended society. Racial stereotyping and the issue of racism can float to […]

Skinhead: Jamaican Roots, Extreme-Rightists, Gay Iconism — A Movement of Contradictions

Like the dreadlocked Rastafarian and the Punk with his or her pink or blue “Mohican,” the Skinhead — shaven-headed and wearing imposing workmen’s or military-style boots — has become an iconic image — an archetype, even. But of what, exactly? Even today, Skinhead remains an emotive and highly controversial subject. And we approach it with […]

Strength, Spirituality, and Masculinity Against Materialism

“Make your nerves strong,” said Swami Vivekananda, “What we want is muscles of iron and nerves of steel. We have wept long enough. No more weeping, but stand on your feet and be men. First of all, our young men must be strong. Religion will come afterwards.” That religion will come after — and in some sense […]

Punk, Feminism, and the anarchist Femme Fatale

sexy punk girls

Young women did much to shape the Punk movement of the late 1970s, even if they often overlooked or relegated to the role of girlfriend and groupie (think “Sid and Nancy”). Along with Malcolm McLaren, Vivienne Westwood was perhaps the first designer of Punk clothing. Siouxsie Sioux was one of the more famous, and early, Punk […]

The Veil Illuminated: Photographer Drew Tal Reimagines the Niqab in New Exhibit

“Worlds Apart,” an exhibition of photographic works by Drew Tal opened at Emmanuel Fremin Gallery last week. The focus of the exhibition – which is also being shown in Istanbul, Turkey – is the Muslim veil. Most of the works are, at least ostensibly, portraits of various Muslim women, some wearing the niqab (veil) and some […]

A “Topless Burka-Clad Model” and Radical Islamic Fashion

“The art of apparel is made all the more important in Islamic countries by the absence of any human image,” wrote Titus Burkhardt (1908-1984), a scholar of, and convert to, Islam. “It is,” he said, “the art of clothing that in a way conveys the Muslim’s ideal image of himself as a Muslim.” Perhaps this […]