Words To That Effect #31 | Steampunk II (Even Greater London)

Note: Part 1 of this double steampunk episode is here

One way of thinking about steampunk is to divide it into two parts: the steam and the punk.


The steam is the Victorian element: the fascination and engagement with the 19th century – whether satirizing or poking fun at Victorian conventions and ideas, dealing with problematic aspects of empire and colonialism, celebrating the people and places, or utterly rethinking the science and technology of the era.

The punk, on the other hand, is very much about building collaborative communities in resistance to contemporary capitalist consumer culture and technology. It’s about maker culture and a DIY aesthetic, about fan groups, conventions and meetups. There’s a strong connection, as we’ll see, with other non-mainstream areas of performance culture: cosplay, circus arts, street performance, burlesque. All of these different areas come together in the rapidly growing number of guests I’ve spoken to about this topic.

On the “steam” side of things, I chat to Chris and Jen Sugden, creators of the wonderful comedy / detective / steampunk audio drama Victoriocity. As for the “punk”, I explore the overlaps between burlesque and steampunk with Bella Agogo, an award-winning burlesque performer and producer.

Check out all the Words To That Effect episodes on Headstuff here

For more details, links, pictures, and a full transcript head to the Words To That Effect website


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