Steampunk, Pt 2 (Even Greater London)

Apr 23, 2019, 10:21 AM

One way of thinking about steampunk is to divide it into two parts – the steam and the punk.

The steam is the Victorian element: the fascination and engagement with the 19th century – whether satirizing or poking fun at Victorian conventions and ideas, dealing with problematic aspects of empire and colonialism, celebrating the people and places, or utterly rethinking the science and technology of the era.

The punk, on the other hand, is very much about building collaborative communities in resistance to contemporary capitalist consumer culture and technology. It’s about maker culture and a DIY aesthetic, about fan groups, conventions and meetups. There’s a strong connection, as we’ll see, with other non-mainstream areas of performance culture: cosplay, circus arts, street performance, burlesque.

And all of these different areas come together in the rapidly growing number of guests I’ve spoken to about this topic.

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