New York City native photographer Steve Schapiro documents what it means to be a hippie in 2015. Originally known for his photographs of and participation in the original Haight-Ashbury scene in San Francisco in the 1960s, Schapiro’s new aim is to explore where today’s hippie energy lays. From 2012 to 2014, Steve Schapiro, teaming with his son Theophilus Donoghue, traveled throughout the country following various “free-spirit movement” festivals such as Burning man in Nevada, Shasta festival and Rainbow Gathering in California, and others of the likes. Here what they found is that the “neo-hippie” generation “has more to do with meditation, yoga, fellowship, good vibes, and a search for the divine than it does with the mind-altering substances of its 60s predecessor.” Through images of mass nude meditation, men covered in mud in what looks like states of pure euphoria, group circles of shirtless people forming hand hearts with their neighbors, Schapiro sheds light into a community deeply rooted in finding their happiness through channels of love and nature.
This body of work can be found in his new book Bliss: Transformational Festivals & the Neo Hippie, published by powerHouse Books. The book’s press release states:
“In Bliss, Schapiro captures the multitudes who come to commune with nature, other like-minded souls, and all that is divine and inspirational in the multi-hued spectrum of human spirituality. He focuses on a subculture of the current hippie counterculture known as “Bliss Ninnies” — individuals who embrace meditation and dancing as a way to reach ecstatic states of joy. The book provides an overview of a new contemporary hippie life within America introduced to Schapiro by his son who began his own journey into Bliss at age 23.”