Just aesthetics or something more? Neofolk as a vehicle for the dissemination of extreme right-wing ideology



music, extreme right-wing, neofolk


Popular music has been used as milieu for political mobilization. Examples of this are American folk, la Chanson Française or portuguese Música de Intervenção from the 60s and 70s and their anti-war messages. Punk, hip-hop, rap, or Riot Grrrls in recent decades have also sought to raise awareness of racial issues, gender inequality, or the patriarchal oppression of societies. Less attention has been paid to the use of music by the extreme right as a means of spreading their ideas. Neofolk has been pointed out as one of the means that is used to divulge fascist ideology, and much of this association is due to the aesthetics used by these bands. This article aims to clarify if the use of fascist symbology and clothing is only an aesthetic resource or something more. Doing document analysis and netnography we investigate interviews, videos of live performances and videos of songs and albums of some of the bands that are most often accused of trying to hide a political agenda behind their musical projects. Special attention is given to the commentary boxes related to the analyzed videos, in order to understand how the fans perceive the aesthetics used. The analysis leads to the conclusion that there is a certain moral panic around the Neofolk connections to the extreme right, although it is possible to conclude that some of the projects analyzed tend, in fact, to make fans believe that they are defending fascist ideas, as in the case of the Martial Industrial, one of the subgroups of Industrial music.


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