Individuation

Subcultures.


A word which has had me intrigued for a week now. It started with an episode of a popular mystery TV series I was watching. The protagonists in the show come across their killer in a 'zombie walk', dressed as an authentic zombie. Not exactly unusual on TV,  but my first thought after that entertaining one hour was -what triggers such social groups? And for those who think that this was just a fictional concept by the scriptwriter, think again. Yes, this imagery has surely been instilled by popular culture, but there is an unknown vacuum that these individuals are trying to fill by recreating it in real-time.

I immediately began google-searching instances of such group sightings, and have selected 2 very distinct examples to begin with. One, ‘Zombies’ Released In NYC As A Protest Against Satellite Broadcaster: Not an example from the undead subculture, but a curious act on the NYC streets.













As a protest against Dish Network and their decision to drop television channel, AMC and its popular ‘The Walking Dead’ series, the network decided to stage a protest—by unleashing the ‘horde of undead’ upon New York City. Actors were put through extensive ‘zombie’ make-up and before being ‘let-loose’ on the streets of Manhattan as a sign of protest. The zombies were disguised as police officers, postal workers, hot dog vendors and civilians—scaring commuters and pedestrians around them. 











The purpose of this campaign was to raise awareness that Dish subscribers will no longer be able to watch programs such as ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Breaking Bad’. The video asked viewers if ‘zombies could live among us?’ and they had ‘transformed a few New Yorkers to find out’ the answer.

My second example is of an actual group existing in Mexico. The Furros Nuevo Leon group go about their lives dressed as wolves in Monterrey, Mexico. The group has about 71 members, most of whom are graphic designers or studying graphic arts and animation. They are part of the subculture known as furry fandom, furrydom or fur fandom, whose members dress like animal characters.













Wikipedia has an entire page on furry fandom. It defines the phenomenon as ' a subculture interested in fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. Examples of anthropomorphic attributes include exhibiting human intelligence and facial expressions, the ability to speak, walk on two legs, and wear clothes. Furry fandom is also used to refer to the community of people who gather on the Internet and at conventions.'

Curious and curiouser. That's all I can say for now. Check this space for more on subcultures, in the coming future. Till tomorrow!