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IN Photography ON 14 Jan, 2016
If you thought that hippies are no longer existent in today's world and society, you're definitely mistaken. One might be tempted to think that hippies were a thing of the 60s and 70s, but the fact is that the hippie movement never came to an end. They simply vacated the urban areas and moved to more natural, simpler places. 80-year-old photogrpaher Steve Schapiro intoduces these new-age hippies in his latest book, Bliss, which captures the hippie lifestyle of a time as recent as 2014. Check it out!
To compile his book of amazing photographs, photographer Steve Schapiro and his son travelled to various festivals across the country, discovering hippies all along the way. Using their camera, they splendidly captured moments of the hippie lifestyle of the modern era - from ecstatic dance and visionary art, to sound healing, meditation and yoga.
Schapiro has covered captured several moments of the hippie culture during the 60s and 70s. But then again, from after 2001, a newly-found interest in the neo-hippies bit him, and he began to document them as well.
Schapiro has had a lot of experience with hippies - both of the original times and the contemporary ones. He says that hippies have a very different outlook towards life - one that has space for a lot of spirituality.
"In 1967, I photographed Haight-Ashbury for an essay on "Hippies and Indians" for Life magazine. San Francisco was pretty much Psychedelic City. Drugs and quick romance seemed to be on everyone's minds. The bands at the Fillmore West (Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, the Doors, and Janis) were iconic and all that great music has remained. But unlike the hippies of the past, the current generation is more inclined towards meditation, prayer and ecstatic dancing as a means of entering altered states as opposed to the use of psychedelics. There is also a major focus on taking care of the body through a raw food or vegan diet."
Most of these festivals are during the break of spring, and it's all over the US and Europe. In the truly family festivals, there is no alcohol at all. People come in with their families, retire in their tents - eat and dance - basically like a fun reunion, meeting old friends and acquaintances. There is of course music, and food variety ranges from raw to Thai. But the most important part that gives the group vibe to these festivals is the dancing. Everyone dances, just for the spirit of it, and that's something one is bound to enjoy.