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Inspirational: Allen Rep. Ghost

Inspirational: Allen Rep. Ghost

One of the most amazing things about the alternative scene is its people – those who inspire and give of themselves to bring about its beauty. I wanted to pay homage to those individuals who have not only inspired me but who are pillars of our delightful dark society – keeping it aloft and helping it thrive.

The first person I wanted to introduce you all too is quite a special figure in the storybook of my past. He is one of my initial inspirations when I was reborn into this alternative reality.

Allen Rep. Ghost was a pivotal figure in the South African goth scene, being part of the organization of many events, clubs and gigs (and his wife Anna Konda supplied us with some fantastic clothing that I still wear to this day!). But more than that he set up G.O.S.A – The Gothic Order of South Africa. As I lived in a small town with limited opportunity to gather with my brethren and no savior such as the internet can provide today… the G.O.S.A newsletters were a real treasure, filled with words that kept me sane through some of my darkest times and made me feel not so alone.

And now I’m honoured to be able to share some of his thoughts with you too, and in this homage also thank him for his thread in this beautiful dark blanket we find comfort in.

How long have you been in the scene and tell me what first attracted you to it? Do you see yourself ever leaving it? Or how has it already changed for you over time?

For me becoming Gothic minded and being in the scene can be very different things, but being in the scene in the sense of identifying myself with what is commonly know as gothic people, probably started around the days of The Temple and The Junction night clubs back in ’89 in Johannesburg. I remember a great sense of coming home and feeling for the first time in many years as though I belonged there. The feeling of the music so described how I felt at the time it was as though this place, the feeling and the look of it was specially created for me! I still believe that if it were not for that first encounter with the Gothic subculture, I may not be here to tell the tale. It was and is a realization that if I had to be classified and put in a box, this would be the box best suited for who I am. To change that would be to change who I am… which would ultimately be unsuccessful.
This is not to say that for me the Goth scene has not changed or developed since these days. The feeling of being amongst family when going out has become diluted due to the influence other similar but different forms of art have had on the scene through the years. But ultimately what is important is still present and as long as one atom of it is still to be found there, so will I be.

Describe yourself in one sentence:

The world around me.

And your main outlook/ethos in life:

I believe our purpose is to finally learn who and what we are through experiencing ourselves (in others) and accepting it for what it is.

What does Goth mean to you?

This is a subject I find difficult not to go into in great depth, but keeping this as brief as possible; I believe the story of the Goth is the story of the rise of the phoenix from its ashes. People develop according to their programming and the dictates society imposes on them and breaking free of this doesn’t usually happen without the fire of suffering. What we have been taught needs to be burned off in these flames, charring us black and casting us back into the darkness of the womb out of which we shall give birth to our own truth.
The gothic mindset is a mind that has died to the teaching of this world through the pain by its treachery. It is a mind that is re-animated but not living as before… it becomes aware of things not seen before and develops senses it was not aware of before. It is the story of the vampire who gets turned by a symbolic bite and who has to undergo a metamorphosis..
What we call the Goth scene is where many of these individuals can be found, but alas not most of the scene are these individuals.
It takes an indescribable passion to recognize them for the indescribable passion they have through usually art, but not always. Sometimes their own flesh, blood and skin being the canvas.

Why have you chosen to be an active contributor to the scene?

Finding kinship among others with a similar mindset of this nature can be very moving, since one of the first elements experienced in this process is great alienation and loneliness. There is no greater honor than being able to contribute to this unique stage of development in any possible form..
I tried to bring people of this mindset together by creating a focal point or occasion for them to come together and learn that they are not alone… just like it was done for me with the same passion of those who came before me. Knowing there were others like me saved me and I wanted to do the same for those who did not yet know it. I also wanted to create some form of structure and protect them from loosing that. (A task not without its challenges and controversy because of the scene’s elusiveness…)

What contribution are you most proud of?

The small contributions I have made, I cannot take credit for and thus cannot be proud of since I believe what was made possible was as a result of a force much greater than any one individual.
The success attained by say a concert is only partially as a result of the performing artists. The success is always brought on by the people who attend that concert and their spirit… all the artist did was to tell a story that was already there. Being proud and being honored are not the same when viewed in this way. What we can contribute is done so by our passion which is only a reflection of what was there in the first place and our ability to express it in a small way.
One cannot own something like this to be proud of… lest it fall apart and chooses another more worthy form to express itself through.

Who in the scene do you admire/respect?

The individual who to spite being scorned, bullied and outcast, expresses themselves in a way they feel best reflects who they are… An individual who with everything to loose, spites this by standing against what they can see is hypocrisy and ignorance…
The lonely little Goth who lives down the lain in a small Christian town… This is my hero. They are who I respect the most.

Recommend some bands

Diary of Dreams, Digital Angel, Desdemona, Trimetrick, Assemblage 23, Fields of the Nephilim.

Favourite quote

“Know thyself”

Favourite word