23.10.06

Subcultures in Portugal


Graveyard Sessions X
I allways was an observer on serveral peculiar, almost deviant things, like subcultures. Belonging to some subcultures myself, I had the idea that, in general, the world of subcultures in Portugal is bad, and is getting worse as time passes. You have several examples of that: the pagan subculture, for example, is almost non-existent in Portugal, except for some events made by the Portuguese division of the PFI (Pagan Federation International) or the pointless meetings of Portugal Mágicko, and even OPW and OEW (the Pagan Order in Portugal and Spain) are pondering on merging as an one only Iberic Wiccan Order. As an observer, I also was alert, yet critic, to the fetishist subculture in Portugal: it seems that for long, and after several subgroups merging together in one IRC community, the major event in the fetishist and BDSM subcultures in Portugal is "The Gathering", and all that might exist prior or post the event remains uncertain and certainly close. Another example of a subculture is the Gothic one - and that in Portugal completely shocks me, since, while there are some Portuguese Gothics, there is no subculture present: instead of that we have the Go-Go movement. If some gatherings were made some years ago, it's exponent and yet its destruction was made with a single interview on a Portuguese TV channel (do I need to say more?) and poof - it's dead. I've just came from "The Graveyard Sessions", a so-called Gothic Party in Lisbon and certainly a Go-Go party: you have no traces of Gothic roots there, except maybe for one track badly jockeyed from The Cure (the eighties cure, it seems that in Portuguese subcultures we aren't in the XXI century yet) and that showed me what I feared the most: Go-Go parties in Lisbon nowadays are the same as in everywhere else in Portugal - a complete and total waste. Sure, we still have good iniciatives. Earlier this year we had the first "Dominium", a new subcultures-centred magazine that had its first issue on BDSM, and that will have their second number around Gothicism. And I knew today, there on the Go-Go party (oh, excuse me, the "Graveyard Sessions X" :-P ), that there's a new Gathering Party comming already in November, which at least shows they're managing to keep up the pace of such meetings (once every six months). But will the Portuguese mind and attitudes will ever be open enough to welcome and embrace subcultures? And I'm not aiming this to the average Portuguese - no - this is specially for the members of those so-called subcultures! When will we do, in Portugal, something serious about divergent lifestyles?

Post Scriptum: Three notes are to be made. First of all, yes, I know that I said at least two things here that weren't supposed to be made public (if there are more I didn't even notice those other ones). Have something against? Sue me. The second of all, please don't consider this a harsh destructive critic. I know that some people will read this and be pissed off, but you shouldn't. Acknoledging problems is the first step to fix them. If you think that, for instance, I'm criticizing Dominium, don't be: I wish the best for that magazine and I really hope that it gets better and better, more and more read. I would even consider to contribute with it if for any reason I was the right person to do it. I'm just disappointed with the fact that we keep ourselves with contentment with pseudo-subcultures instead of doing the real thing. To finish, I just have to say that this post isn't about Paganism, Fetishism, BDSM, Bondage and Gothics. This is about every subculture I know of and their "presence" (or not even that) in Portugal. Yes, that includes the Metal-heads subculture, but that one isn't focused here since it deserves a single article just for that.