Sunday, December 9, 2007

Athens - Emos assaulted

No doubt emos in greece have faced violence before in Greece but now it is in the papers, alongside the usual anti Emo garbage. I am still amazed how much nonsense newspapers print since when is Green Day emo? Glyfada is a suburb of Athens. | Injuries in youth culture clash
Kathimerini, Greece - 5 Dec 2007

An attack on two adolescents in Glyfada by a large group of teenagers has highlighted growing tensions between “rival” groups of fashion-conscious youngsters.

The attack, which occurred in central Glyfada early Sunday, resulted in minor injuries to one of the two victims and the arrest of three alleged assailants who faced a prosecutor yesterday. Meanwhile, police are seeking another 18 youngsters implicated in the attack.

The two victims define themselves as “emos” – code for a tribe of youngsters who wear black clothes, dyed black hair brushed over their face, and listen to an “emotional” strain of post-punk music. The pair claim to have been surrounded by a group of “trendies” – a rival band of preppy youngsters – who demanded they hand over their money and mobile phones. The victims say they were attacked after refusing to give in to the demands. They say they were targeted for being “emos.”

The “emo” trend, which appeared in other European countries several years ago, has only recently gained ground in Greece. Youngsters claiming allegiance to the clan – girls and boys alike – typically dress in black with drainpipe jeans and heavy black makeup. They tend to listen to bands playing a strain of post-punk music featuring angry and retrospective lyrics, such as Green Day and My Chemical Romance.

The tendency of some emos in other countries to intentionally harm themselves – generally minor cuts using razors – does not appear to have been embraced in Greece.

Nevertheless, psychologists are concerned that this type of allegiance is not a particularly healthy one for youngsters. “This is the first time such an emotionally charged youth movement has appeared in Greece,” clinical psychologist Eleni Kouloutzou told Kathimerini. “These children appear almost mournful but they have turned their anger in on themselves rather than against society – they don’t believe in anything,” she said.

Apart from “emos” and “trendies,” Greece also has “kangoures” – male teenagers with a loud, brash style who drive their cars dangerously.

The interesting thing is that the assault is identical to all the other attacks we have covered across the world in it has emos assaulted by trendies in large numbers. A followup article is even more disturbing...

Violence is not about style
Kathimerini, Greece - 7 Dec 2007

By Nikos Xydakis

Recent youth clashes are being seen by many as a war of stylistic differences. The «cool» kids beating up on the «emos.» Next, we will embark on an analysis of each trend or the subculture to which each belongs.

But this approach harbors many dangers. First, we begin by looking at violence as a matter of aesthetics, a lifestyle conflict. It is that, but only partly. It is like the clashes between hooligans that have sometimes even ended in death - and are not just about the color of one's jersey.

No 17-year-old living in Athens who has been witness to such incidents has any doubt about what to call those of his peers who attack emos with scissors and switchblades, hack away at their bangs and beat them in the face: They are bullies. Pure and simple.

You may even hear something about the packs of semi-feral teenagers prowling neighborhoods on their noisy mopeds until a lone long-banged kid walks by. «What are you looking at?!» That's how it begins, and sometimes it ends in a vicious beating. The pack mentality and senseless violence are characteristics of a youth that is full of rage, that lacks a smooth process of assimilation or passage into wider society. With schools degraded, a society that doles out hypocrisy and insecurity, a professional outlook that is limited to delivering pizzas or becoming a night watchman, with ideological hatred being vented on every Internet site, teenagers, and especially these semi-marginalized teenagers, are pushed to aggression, to blind competition, to the exclusion of all «others,» to forming packs within which they have an identity.

Bullies, of course, have always been around. But in cases such as these beatings, in Glyfada and Syntagma, their pack mentality puts them on a par with the lumpen hooligans. Violence is not just a matter of aesthetics.

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