When my daughter was little we happened upon a documentary about hippies. She was 4 or 5 at the time. She was glued to this thing which was a painless and fascinating history lesson in 1960’s counter culture. Some of the hippies did bad things (drugs), but most of them were really nice and did good things (made daisy chains). Right, mom? Right, sweetie. Mom? Yes? I’m going to be a hippie.
Here’s to all the hippies, the old kind and the new 21st century kind, a few of which Steve Davis has chronicled so beautifully in his recent photographic work Back to the Garden.I am a mother of two babies. I cloth diaper, breastfeed and we do attachment parenting. I try to be as environmentally cautious as I can be with the resources we have today. If only I had a garden available, I would love to live off the land, and grow my own produce, and raise poultry/eggs. In my free time I like to crochet. —Melony, 20, Mother/Student
I have a psychedelic spirituality, tan bare feet, long dreadlocked hair, have hitchhiked thousands and thousands of miles, chased the Dead when Jerry was still alive, dance under the stars at electronic music festivals, soak sky-clad in natural hot springs, live in my jeep wandering up and down the West Coast, and currently am camping at a communal village in Santa Cruz with a tribe of beautiful open-minded Free Spirits in Love with Life. —John, 37, Tattoo Artist
I don’t usually claim to be a hippie, though I hope others see it in me, because claiming it seems presumptuous, like claiming to be intelligent or enlightened. People might see me as a 21st century hippie because I care about the earth, animals, plants, people and social justice. I make important decisions primarily from my conscience rather than from my wallet, for convenience or for other reasons, and I try not to let others’ opinions of me affect me too much. —John, 40, Professor
Humanity is shadowed by looming insecurity, and a distortion of ideals, this leaves us scared and perpetually alone. I try not to let fear stifle my opinion of this beautiful planet that has graciously hosted us (and in turn we infect her like a plague of locust). I try not to let fear mast my smile. Spread your love like butter and we’ll all be golden. —Alex, 19, Fry Cook
I have taken from the hippie ethic what I have found to be meaningful, and have incorporated my own values, influenced, of course, by growing up in the 21st century. Community building is one ethic I am passionate about sustaining into the future. 21st century technology gives us a river of tools and information that can help our generation achieve our goals, particularly by learning about what other people are doing all over the world. It gives communities a way to network with each other, especially, as I have found in my own endeavors, with regards to music and to food. Technologies like the Internet also allow people a platform to share their experiences and beliefs which helps create opportunities for understanding across social divides. —Paul, 22, Student/Musician
“This work represents people who self-identify as 21st century hippies. This was my sole criterion for selecting subjects. Several people I met and photographed do not usually reveal themselves as counter culture hippies in a very noticeable way, but they are all able to articulate their connection to the lifestyle, philosophies, or actions of contemporary hippie culture. A group that is a joke to many, an anachronism to even more, is continually finding new members, more that 45 years after the Summer of Love.”
– Steve Davis 2013 , stevedavisphotography.com