Venezuelan Skinheads: few but true!

Being a skinhead or skinhead girl in a country like Venezuela hasn’t been very easy, even though we are a tropical country and especially multicultural, here few subcultures are appreciated and followed, although punk subculture has had more relevance in Venezuelan youth, the skinhead subculture has left its mark on some of the Venezuelan’s youth, but today few remain in that lifestyle.

How did begin the skinhead subculture in Venezuela?

It is said that began in the mid-80s. At the time, in Venezuela, it was difficult to find music from other countries, especially from other continents; the music was coming rather late, as the news about the birth of new subcultures which by then some had over 20 years runs and others had more than 10 years. For this reason, the Venezuelan tried to obtain, anyhow, this type of information. Jamaican rhythms known as Ska and Reggae were heard at Venezuela by the mid-60s thanks to groups like “Las Cuatro Monedas”, many of our grandparents and parents fondly remember as part of their youth and good times. It is said that some young people began keeping Skinhead lifestyle in the mid-80s, but due to misinformation and bad reputation that the skinhead subculture had to the time (because they were identified as Nazis or Fascists) it became difficult to be a skinhead in Venezuela. Many of the Venezuelan’ skinheads couldn’t say that they were Skinheads because people confused them with Nazis and also it was known that were some groups of fascists and national socialists who claimed to be “skins” but they always were minority and lived hidden because it didn’t know more about them. In the 90s, the skinheads in Venezuela were few and numbered due to this situation.

By early 2000, the skinhead subculture took some notoriety among Venezuelan youth; this boom began after 2004, we were still few but far more than previous decades. The bad reputation was gradually eradicated, it wasn’t so hard to say if someone was a Skinhead, because this subculture was a symbol of beer, football and violence in some cities, for others it was to belong to certain groups such as SHARP and RASH and for some (very few actually) was a symbol of ska, reggae, beer, loyalty, friendship, tradition and pride.

Today the situation is different than used to be about 4 or 5 years ago, in the years 2007 and 2008, where it could be said that the skinhead scene in Venezuela was significantly higher than it was and what it is nowadays. They were good years for the skinheads of our country, we knew each other, there were events and there was presence. The skinhead scene began to losing ground by 2010, this mostly because of a personal nature. Although between 2011 until nowadays, events of ska and reggae have grown like wildfire in our country, this hasn’t affected in any way the interest in the scene. In fact, by this moment, we are a small number of traditional and Oi! Skinheads those still remain true to the lifestyle. Some people stopped living the skinhead lifestyle to continue with their lives from other perspectives.

Those who still continue living the skinhead lifestyle, we keep living life as each day goes by, it is something we own, something personal, when we can we enjoy excellent events of Venezuelan ska and reggae or some occasional party among friends. We are few in comparison to other Latin American countries but we are faithful and true to the skinhead lifestyle and every year we see more of it.

As I said before, it wasn’t easy to be a skinhead in Venezuela, far less being a skinhead girl like me, but that didn’t affect us negatively. On the contrary, this difficulty makes us true and faithful to the feeling.

Essay made by Mary GunsFever Montilla.

NOTE: Referential Photos of some Venezuelan Skinheads