We Are the Mods!

Victory to the IRA /Mods. Torino, November 2012.

The Eurozone crisis needs a counterculture. Unable to claim a youth genre for its repertoire, at best, it has been represented by a resurgence of interest in punk. Whether it be mohawk hairstyles for women, studded leather boots from Milan, or Berlin goth-punk groups like Tanzkommando Untergang, a signature is indeed emerging. It’s reach, however, is limited. Surely, there is something with a wider appeal.

Enter the new Mod revival. Fourth wave? It all depends on whether you think it’s actually Mod or not.

For the last year, branded Mods! tags have graced the walls of Turin. Without any context, it has been hard to explain what was being signified, apart from nostalgia for yet another pre-crisis subculture. Giulia Pace’s translations of two new Mod manifestos, posted near Turin’s National Cinema Museum, help provide the answer. Unsurprisingly, they are as much about leftwing politics, as they are about style and culture.

That’s why we started this edition of Randomizer with a photograph of a Mods! tag, placed above a “Victory to the IRA” slogan. An obviously older piece of graffiti, it helps illuminate the linkage of Mod culture to radicalism, detailed in typically rough and tumble terms, below.


Anger and Style! Turin, October 2012.


We don’t follow any trend and we are not subdued by consumerism.

[We are] Multiethnic and apolitical, against cultural homogenization.

[We are] Present in every fold of the urban social fabric.

We never were and never will be standardized or ghettoized. We are proud of our history.

[We are] On the street holding our head(s) high.

Our style is well-defined and it distinguishes us in any way, in any time and in any place.

Always elegant, proud and… one step beyond!

Anger and Style!

Every Saturday afternoon at 4.30 pm, the Mods meet in piazza Statuto n.18, in front of palazzo Paravia


We Are Mods!




The way you think, act, talk, dress, is really the result of your personality?

Do you really live your life the way you have chosen? Have you ever thought that too many times you excuse your behavior, telling yourself: “ Everyone is doing it” Everyone has got it”, “Everyone says it”?

Don’t you feel like you are just a sheep of that huge herd that is mass society? You probably are not happy about the way things are going for you and people around you, and you’d like to do something to change the situation. But what could you do?

Aren’t you, too, a part of that society that you so strongly criticize and reject? Let’s take a look in the mirror and we will understand that we our society. There’s no point in trying to change the masses if we don’t change ourselves first. To change our “self” is definitely possible!

We have rejected the rules imposed by CONSUMERISTIC and CAPITALISTIC alienation, by trends, by television, by tendentious magazines and by advertising.  We despise and condemn racism and drug use! We hate (the) bourgeois and hangers-on. We are free from so-called respectability, hypocrisy of wealthy false moralists, widespread self-pity, infatuation with foreign cultures.


We are truly realistic: no “untouchable” myths, no social climbing, no anachronistic imitations, no American “glow” but only and truly us, ourselves (and this is no small thing…). We could find the great value that everyone has in himself. Don’t be a just a number, but a true and real person standing out of the masses apathy. Be “someone” for what you are, and not for what you have!!!

Be a mod to be better. Stand out, dance, ride our beautiful motor scooters. We are self-assured, violent only if necessary. We’re always on the street with a perfect look, ready for a meeting or an exchange of ideas.


Piazza Statuto

Translated from the Italian by Giulia Pace. Introduction and photos by Joel Schalit.

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