Going Dark… Going Academia

Picking a theme as far away as I could from the pandemic, I stumbled on a trend going on TikTok, Tumblr and for a while now, Instagram. The Dark Academia Aesthetic.                    

What’s an aesthetic? The philosophical study of beauty and taste, usually connected with the philosophy of art. This seems like a syllabus for a uni course and it’s intimately connected with just that. Studying. It’s all about the pursuit of knowledge, the satisfaction of an unrelenting curiosity, along with the constant want for wisdom.       


Sure, it sounds strange as a concept but it can actually be a lifestyle. The Dark Academia Aesthetic seems to bring forth the cultural phenomenon of Eurocentrism, a worldview specifying the western civilization as the focal element of all. While capitalism and globalization display the American way of life, one wonders how a particular concept of appearance and beauty can be so influential.

At this point, I should mention that there are quite a few variations of Dark Academia, all of which have a certain historical focus. For example, the romantic type will lead us to high-ceilinged ballrooms, rose-colored lips, and Shakespearian sonnets (see 16th – 17th century). The gothic type is darker still, orbiting through the sinister side of classical music, velvet cloth, and the mesmerizing sight of moonlight (20th century). The most popular amongst them all is the ultimate Dark aesthetic that correlates to black coffee and cigars, tweed jackets, the light emitting from candles, and philosophical conversations with peers through the endless night. 

As we’re talking about the concept of art, one ought to mention how aspects of it like films, books, music, and palpable art can be viewed with this approach. As far as I know, ‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tart (1992) is all about the academia aesthetic, but other books like ‘Stoner’ (1965) and ‘The Lessons’ by Naomi Alderman (2010) can be incorporated as such. It would be an omission on my part not to mention the best ever made film, ‘Dead Poets Society’ (1989), ‘Kill your darlings’ (2013) and lastly ‘The Ninth Gate’ (1999). Classical music is a must with Claude Debussy and Erik Satie to the stand, but the Dark Academia aesthetic actually shines through modern artists like Hozier and Lana Del Ray. As for paintings and sculptures, The Renaissance is the prevailing art movement. But still, we should have in mind that depending on the type of aesthetic, the particulars change. I’ll leave the dressing code up to your imagination.    

Basically, Dark Academia is a subculture where discrimination and narrow-mindedness have no place. That’s probably the reason why it’s so well received. We can’t hide the fact that the whole situation with COVID has made us turn into ourselves and sometimes we may not like what we see. Or we may need a subculture to feel like we belong. Maybe this particular aesthetic gives us the closest chance to liberal freedom. I just remembered the ultimate quote by Henry David Thoreau that expresses my feelings on the subject brilliantly. 

“All good things are wild and free.”

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Ήρθα σε αυτόν τον κόσμο την πέμπτη μέρα του δεύτερου καλοκαιρινού μήνα ενός χρόνου πριν την αλλαγή της δεκαετίας στην συμπρωτεύουσα. Σπουδάζω Ποιμαντική και Κοινωνική θεολογία στο ΑΠΘ. Λατρεύω την αγγλική κουλτούρα. Χορεύω swing και κάνω αμέτρητα ταξίδια με βάρκα το βιβλίο! Ξέρω μονάχα ότι δε ξέρω και πολλά. Ο κόσμος είναι ο καμβάς μας και εμείς οι ζωγράφοι. Πιστεύω στην ατομική πρωτοβουλία και ότι όλοι μαζί μπορούμε να κάνουμε αυτόν τον κόσμο καλύτερο!

Σχετικά θέματα: aesthetic // Covid-19 // Dark Academia // talk english to me // tambook // tambook.gr

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