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Going out in Ghent

Logo Amsab-ISG
Time period: 1919-1939
Number of interviews: 39
Accessibility: in the reading room with an obligatory registration
Transcripts: yes, per 10 minutes
Medium: mp3


Marta Michna. Master’s thesis “Dancings in Gent, 1919-1939”. A-J: 2007-2008

At the beginning of the 20th century, the entertainment industry underwent a true revolution. New techniques, new music and dance styles developed. Even gent was affected: there was theatre, circus, music hall, cinema, zoo, cabaret, dancing, café, opera… The aim of the project is to find out where the respondents went out during their young years and how they did so. Within the research, three lines can be distinguished: the first is the topography of the Ghent dance halls, the second is to reconstruct an average night out and the third is to explore the control and perception of dance halls.


Archival history: The department of New History of Ghent University, under the leadership of Prof. Dr. B. De Wever, conducted research into recreational life in Ghent before the Second World War. For this purpose, interviews were conducted with witnesses born around 1920 and living in the Ghent area before the war. The project was coordinated by Marta Michna who wrote a master’s thesis on the subject.


The subject “Dancings in Ghent, 1919 to 1939” seems rather general at first sight. However, the gap that I discovered during my research forced me to conduct a thorough basic research. Due to the volatility of the nightlife sector, it was not easy to find the right It was not easy to come up with an overview of the field. The entertainment is an extremely sensitive sector. Not only is it subject to fashionable trends and foreign influences, it is also constantly threatened by imminent bankruptcies. It is also constantly threatened by imminent bankruptcies, the danger of fire, and municipal or provincial regulations.


Image is important. An establishment spreads a certain message via all sorts of channels, tries to attract a message, tries to attract a target audience and radiate a specific atmosphere. This sensitivity should make us realise how much can change over a period of twenty years. everything can change in a twenty-year period. The interwar period cannot be seen as a single whole. The roaring twenties and thirsty thirties point to changes that have major social consequences. social consequences. That is why we have focused on the following three issues during this study concentrated on the following three issues. Firstly, the topography of the dancings in Ghent, because knowledge of a location is crucial. Second, the reconstruction of an average night out. Thirdly, the attitude thirdly, attitudes towards nightclubs in different social strata.

Postkaart van Dancing Moderne aan de SintAmandstraat 8. Uitgebaat door mijnheer De Stoop