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
For Steve Davis’ series Back to the Garden, his only criterion was to photograph people whom self-identify as 21st century hippies. Once he found his subjects, he took sharp, vivid photographs of their features, behind white backgrounds, framed like saints. Despite the individuals’ different backgrounds and occupations, each person was able to connect to the lifestyle and philosophy of a contemporary hippie. Davis’ series rejects the idea that hippie culture is anachronistic and on the other hand, proves that the movement is still very much alive.
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
I have successfully defied societal convention and norms in order to follow my dreams. I dedicate myself full time to my art whether that means I become homeless, whether that means I starve, whether that means I die. —Jennifer, 31, Figure Model/Musician
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 post was contributed by photographer Sophie Butcher.