After US white supremacist Wade Michael Page had killed six and injured four people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in August 2012, many journalists turned their attention to White Power music. And for a good reason, as Page was a founder of the white supremacist band End Apathy, and occasionally played in over a dozen of other racist bands. The increased media attention to this type of music, however, is irredeemably belated. For more than 15 years, experts have been warning of the dangers that White Power music poses to social cohesion in Europeanized societies. The White Power music scene is part and parcel of the extreme-right socio-political movement. Far right bands and artists voice the extreme-right ideas, and their message is even more explicit and unvarnished than that of more or less organized, socio-political extreme-right groups. Propaganda through music is also more powerful than speeches, leaflets or visual forms of promotion of the extreme-right agenda.
In his seminar talk Anton Shekhovtsov will present the book “White Power Music: Scenes of Extreme-Right Cultural Resistance” that he co-edited. The book maps through Europe-wide case studies the diverse White Power music culture, and discusses the role of women in White Power music, censorship and the legacy of the late Ian Stuart Donaldson – leader of arguably the most infamous White Power band, Skrewdriver, that literally drove the British far right music scene forwards in the early 1980s.
Anton Shekhovtsov is Visiting Research Fellow, University of Northampton, UK; currently he is Junior Visiting Fellow at the IWM.