A Modern Sense of Counterculture

Alexander W. Raworth
5 min readJan 25, 2019

For those who know and acknowledge the idea of a counterculture, then is it worth denying that it doesn’t exist today? Especially when nearly everything is going at such a speed, that it’s almost impossible to predict. Surely, there is a community that has a lot to object to, right? Subcultures must have formed out of mutual dissatisfaction of the government, climate change or current civil rights, just like it has in the past? The answer is yes, they have formed, and it is fairly obvious to most people. It’s just a lot different in comparison to what it used to be. And now, it is divided into two sections: ‘above-ground’ and ‘underground’.

For many, it is difficult to believe that a new and emerging counterculture is arising, especially when a high-profile figure such as Damon Albarn, the Gorillaz and Blur frontman, whom back in June 2017 in Canterbury, conversed Britain’s “inevitable, bullshit outcome” after a surprise snap election. Judging from his audience’s reactions, not many were fazed by the remark.

Other supposed purveyors of the counterculture, such as the Tunbridge Wells middle-class punk duo, Slaves (who have disappeared in the media after their fiasco with a financial grant), also fail to appropriate themselves with a subculture no matter how hard they may try to push forward the marketing act of them being disadvantaged. This, unfortunately for them and their record label, is fairly hard to believe, especially since they have families to keep them financially stable and are probably never going to find themselves in a food bank.

But please believe it, there is an arising counterculture. One that protests through technology as well as music and art. One that does not embody itself in rebellious youths smoking spliffs outside Soho and one that is not appearing in a murky, derelict house on the outskirts of Bury, spangled on MDMA whilst the same repetitive thud penetrates their ribcages.

Desperate attempts to appear ‘counterculture’ or in the words of a populist, anti-establishment, are all around us. For the purpose of this feature, those who we know that actively represent the opposition to the current world of culture and society should be deemed as ‘above-ground’. Figures such as the beforementioned Damon Albarn and those Tunbridge Wells punks, Slaves are the description of this class of countercultural activists.

Just because the ‘above-ground’ high-profile figures are seemingly failing at forming a subculture based…

Alexander W. Raworth