Currently reading : Photographs of Rome’s 1980s Dark wave scene by Dino Ignani
We all usually associate subculture within the boundaries of the urban spaces of New York, London, Berlin or Paris so its easy to forget that subculture also authentically existed else where.
These images were taken from 1982 to 1985 by photographer Dino Ignani at Dark Wave clubs in Rome. The portraits resemble the kind of New Romanticism which had been present in London a few years earlier but these styles existed originally on their own too. A young Diamada Galas can be seen with her signature crazed hair and the weird mixes of Edie Sedgewick with Rockabilly looks all mixed with deep monotones of black and extended eye make up were regular features.
This particular subculture was described as ‘Darkwave’ and Ignani’s documentation of it and the young people who attended these gigs and club nights are really quite wonderful. However Ignani’s described how like all authenticity of subculture it eventually gets eaten up and regurgitated into a flimsier more commodity driven version. The effort put into each individuals outfits whether through the hand drawn eyeliner or ripped up sweaters posses the kind of innocence and creativity that are reminiscent of Derek Ridger‘s portraits so its so fascinating to be able to see how young people in Italy used their bodies as a space for self expression against the mundane besides from what we’ve become so accustomed to understanding.