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Nazi Symbolism in Black Metal/National Socialist Black Metal
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMK).
2011 (English)In: Youth (Sub)cultures in Changing Societies, Centre for Lifestyles Studies, Institute for International and Social Studies, Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia, 2-4 February 2011, 2011Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Symbolism connected to Nazi Germany, World War II and the Holocaust has been used within different youth subcultures at least since the late 1960´s. The appropriation of Nazi paraphernalia and NS references by the 1970´s punks continued in other ”new wave”-related subcultures. Although there has been countermovements within the subcultures themselves, banning ideological Nazism, the fascination with Nazi symbolism has not waned. Apart from the overtly political White Power, there is today a well-established use of Nazi-related aesthetics especially within Electronic Body Music (EBM) and Industrial, (where it is alledgedly ” de-politicized”); in Neofolk and related genres; and in Black Metal and its extreme subgenre National Socialist Black Metal (NSBM).


In this article I examine the use of Nazi-related symbolism in the Black Metal/NSBM subculture, with mainly fan made music videos on YouTube and interviews as empirical material. What meanings are there to be found, and how do these relate to history and memory culture more generally? What relations are there to ideology? As these subcultures are to a large extent transnational, the study includes bands from Sweden, France, Germany, Greece, Slovakia and Australia. The phenomenon of NSBM in the former Eastern Bloc will also be discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Nazi Germany, black metal, subculture, symbolism, music videos
National Category
Research subject
Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-68780OAI: diva2:473521
Available from: 2012-01-06 Created: 2012-01-06

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