Campino, singer of Die Toten Hosen, interviewed the then youth minister Angela Merkel for a special issue of the German news magazine Der Spiegel with the title “Pop & Politics” in 1994. The cover featured a collage which comprised of people like Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Bill Clinton playing a saxophone. Among them, Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols glared at the possible buyers in neighbourhood kiosks. In this issue the journalist and pop theorist Diedrich Diederichsen formulated ten theses for contemporary pop culture. Tony Parsons, one of the first journalists to write about British punk from 1976 onwards in the New Musical Express, pondered about the popularity of punk and its relation to mass culture in the 1990s. Punk as a media phenomenon and a lifestyle became part of mass culture and was a topic taken seriously by cultural critics. Continue reading
The punk scene was in a deep existential crisis when post punk, new wave and goth music and fashion trends finally reached East Germany in the Orwellian year 1984. For the punk community in particular, the prevailing mood was indeed a dystopian one (Pehlemann, Papenfuβ, Mieβner, 2015). Punk was not dead (yet), but East German punk (no) future views increasingly contained a sense of pessimist fatalism, while goths escaped any kind of future scenario by playing already being dead. In any case, change was happening within the cultural underground which corresponded with a broader societal change and a spreading Endzeitstimmung (Wirsching, 2006) during the final phase of the Cold War. This ‘global’ existential fear, caused by political, societal and environmental crises, like nuclear threat, AIDS and environmental pollution (for example the ‘Waldsterben‘: dying forests) inspired both avant garde artists and participants in protest movements on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
Deux numéros intéressants de la revue Le temps des médias:
1. Oyez jeunesse !
« En interrogeant, au fil de l’Histoire, l’élaboration de médias destinés spécifiquement aux jeunes, Le Temps des médias se propose de réinterroger l’histoire des représentations de la jeunesse dans les sociétés. L’histoire des médias pour la jeunesse est indissociable de celle de l’enfant et de la place accordée à celui- ci. Dans un premier temps, ce sont bien sûr les imprimés : pour la fin du XVIIIe et le XIXe siècles, on peut se demander quelle est l’ampleur des images destinées aux enfants au sein des maisons de production de l’imagerie populaire. Au XXe siècle, les médias pour la jeunesse prennent à nouveau une part active à l’innovation dans le paysage de la presse écrite : ils permettent, dans l’entre-deux-guerres, l’acculturation de la bande dessinée. Continue reading
Initially, delinquency and crime provided the lens through which academics discussed youth culture. Studying deviant behaviour ensured that criminologists focused on questions of re-education and the relationship between the newly-branded ‘teenager’, delinquency and youth culture.With the emergence of Cultural Studies in Britain, ‘youth’ was interpreted in generational terms, through which a critical understanding of the changing nature of British society could be inferred. Across the academic landscape of historical studies, however, youth cultures tend to play but a minor role in general overviews and historical narratives of the history of European societies after 1945.
From September 23 to 26, 2014, over 3000 scholars, teachers and students will convene at the University of Göttingen for the 50th Convention of German Historians, the German Historikertag. The event is one of Europe’s largest humanities conferences. “Winners and Losers” is the motto of next year’s anniversary convention. There will be a panel about the history of popular culture. Here is the concept: Continue reading