Friday, May 6, 2016

Soviet Subcultures of the 1980s: Goths, Punks and Metalheads of the USSR

The 1980s brought fashionable perestroikas and a perestroika of fashion. A period that saw the emergence of new styles and new creative spaces. Charged by the energy of anticipated change, Soviet youth created new musical styles, street fashion, communal squats...

This alternative to the Soviet regime originated from subcultures formed in the early 1980s. Their participants and heroes occupied squats and street stages, enticing ordinary passers-by to join them in a celebration of civil disobedience. The exaggerated dress code, hairstyles, tattoos and make-up were intended to shock, it was a demonstration of freedom and independence pushed to the limit, challenging 'normal', conventional Soviet imagery.

When the first subcultures appeared in the USSR the government simply considered those youngsters to be crazy. But when the movement went out of control it was already too late. Metalheads, rockers, punks, rappers, bikers, etc. came out to the streets of the already crumbling Soviet society.

Moscow, 1987. Photo by Asa Kari Frank.

Volgograd, 1988.

Moscow, 1989. Photo by Petra Gall.

Moscow, 1986. Photo by Sergey Borisov.

Moscow, 1986.

Leningrad, 1987. Photo by Yaroslav Mayev.

A note in The Face magazine, 1988.

A note about Moscow rockers in a Spanish magazine, 1990.

Punk girl. 1988. Photo by Yaroslav Mayev.

Shooting for the German magazine Blickpunkt. Moscow, 1987. Photo by Petra Gall.

1987.

Article about Moscow rockers in a German magazine. 1988.

Cover of the Blickpunkt, 1988.

Leningrad, 1986. Photo by Natalia Vasilyeva.

Moscow, 1988. Photo by Yaroslav Mayev.

Moscow, 1987.

Moscow, 1987.

Moscow, 1987.

Moscow, 1988. Photo by Petra Gall.

Moscow, 1988.

Moscow, 1989. Photo by Sergey Borisov.

Moscow, 1988. Photo by Petra Gall.

Moscow, 1989.

Moscow, 1988. Photo by Yaroslav Mayev.

Moscow, 1985.

Moscow region, 1985.

1988.

1986.

Moscow, 1987.

1988.

The SHAH band, 1987.

Omsk, 1989.

Moscow, 1987.

Moscow, 1988 / 1989.

1989.

1990.

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