Symboliek In Extreemrechtse Jongerensubculturen (2006 alert! / kafka)

Alert! and Kafka are two Dutch antifascistic organisations. Kafka is an investigation group, Alert! is mostly concerned with a periodical. The June 2006 volume of Alert! is all about “symbolism in extreme-right youth-subcultures” and is sold as a brochure. I know these group(s) because ‘my interests’, both musical and ‘philosophically’, are under their watchfull eye. I check their webpages every now and then to see what is it that they discovered this time. A couple of years ago, I ordered their first (?) symbolism brochure, a pile of black/white photocopies. Not too long ago I ordered the German “Das Versteckspiel” (reviewed elsewhere) and this one is more like a little book, the Alert! issue is more like a magazine. The two volumes are quite alike, but the Dutch crew focussed more on the Netherlands. There are two nice, surprisingly realistic and understanding articles in the magazine, one about the “gabber” subculture and one about skinheads. The history of “gabber” is fairly good. As you may (or may not) know, “gabber” is a hard form of techno that started in the Netherlands, got exported as “gabba” or “hardcore”, quickly raised towards a highly commercial peak, collapsed, but recently slowly raises again. The “gabber” looked used to be a shaven head and expensive sportswear, but nowadays the skinhead look with army boots, bomberjacks, etc. is popular. Skinheads then. This scene seems to have its roots in immigrant cultures in the UK, but later became more of a leftish workers-class culture, but a politically extreme section split off and that is what we nowadays mostly know as skinheads. Informative articles.
Then there are of course many symbols, number- and letter symbols, symbolic clothing, etc. explained in the magazine. Much is also present in Das Versteckspiel. The writers mention where the symbols are used, and only here and there the ‘neofolk’ scene is mentioned. Correct in my opinion, but the same writers who seem to find neofolk not interesting enough for this publication, keep making a big fuss over concerts. Generally speaking I am happy to notice that almost none of the symbols written about are used in the neofolk scene, so the few that are used would be more offensive in another context than they are at concerts.
A nice reading for those who are interested what is ‘really’ ‘extreme right’ symbolism, how it is used in the Netherlands and in what kind of cultures. The publication has exceeded the usual pointed-finger and accusation mentality, which makes it an even better read. Just so you know what some people use to convey messages to others and what may be things to stay away from!

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