Words by Jemima Skala
Art by Amelia Dearing
Nothing sums up escapism more than clubbing. To paraphrase Samantha Fu, it’s the drugs, dirty dancing, and pounding techno music that allow us to shed our troubles along with our beige work clothes and slip into something more comfortable for the weekend. Club culture and nightlife has always been a way for the youth of the current generation to create their own alternative universe, one that vaguely resembles our own, but in brighter colours, more vivid sounds, softer to the touch.
The change in atmosphere is palpable as soon as you claim your triumph over the big burly bouncers and stumble through the door of the club. You can feel it pulsing through your nerve endings: whatever happens tonight, in this sweaty basement cavern, nothing is off-limits. For British youth, there seems to be no where left to turn. With futures as bleak as a rainy beach, with corporations capitalising on every click you make, with screen addiction rapidly becoming a very real problem, why not just sesh it all out? Alongside the increasing crackdown on our havens of the sesh (welcome back Fabric), the illegal rave scene has increased massively over the past few years, simply as a last resort. If you want anything doing, you’ve gotta do it yourself.
Aside from being very fun night, there’s more to club culture than originally meets the eye. Nightlife is intrinsically linked to underground movements and points of community, which are created by the more marginalised groups in society. Not to trivialise, but our general understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community started in underground gay nights in New York in the 1960s, then in Soho in the 80s. These nights allowed for the development of a community, which then created a con dence that sparked pivotal moments and launched key gures into our consciousness, such as the Stonewall Riots, Marsha P. Johnson and Silvia Rivera.
And these nights hold equal importance today in places like Russia: when your country doesn’t accept you, you find yourself one that does. And that’s precisely what club culture can provide. A sweet escape. I think Renton from the cult classic film Trainspotting put it best; surrounded by strobe lights, people clutching desper- ately at waterbottles and furiously blow- ing whistles, he ponders: ‘Diane was right. The world is changing. Music is changing. Drugs are changing. Even men and wom- en are changing. One thousand years from now, there’ll be no guys or girls, just wankers. Sounds great to me.’