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Don Letts on Skinhead Subcultures

| Skinheads made an immeasurable impact on British culture and continues to penetrate modern style to date.


Documentary in which director and DJ Don Letts looks at a very particular and very provocative British subculture – skinhead. He explores how skinhead has become associated with street fighting, trouble on the football terraces and violent racism in the public consciousness in Britain and around the world, but reveals that its origins lie in a cultural coming together that could not be further from its tarnished image.

Don shows in fascinating detail how the roots of skinhead are in a brilliant cultural collision between the young white working-class kids and their Jamaican counterparts in British inner cities, a moment of multicultural harmony. He traces the history of skinhead from the late 60s to the present, looking at the music and styles of skinhead from the reggae-influenced ska to the punk-influenced Oi. Throughout Don meets people who were committed members of various skinhead scenes, and he considers the conflicts and the contradictions that skinhead has attracted over five decades.


Read more How the Catwalk Steals from Working Class Subcultures


Video by the BBC
Header image by Nick Knight

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