Having in their backpack the comforts of the Western world and their youthful aspirations, fearless and dreamy European and American Hippies were led, during the 1960s and ’70s, in South Asia. Through an informally organized network of cheap hostels and buses known as “Hippie Trail”, they have sought to collect experiences mainly related to poverty, freedom and perhaps a sense of danger, and to find themselves in a world that no one knows their name.
They hoped to find a kind of spirituality – and drugs – to give their bourgeois existence another dimension. From Turkey to Iran, Afghanistan, Nepal and India, these new travelers found temporary relief in the local habits and attitudes of the World South, surviving thanks to their strong currencies. They called themselves “Atromite” and for a decade – before the geopolitical conditions made these areas hostile to the West – they enjoyed the sun and the sense of a different identity in the world after the 1960s. The “Hippie Trail” was the last glimpse of their counterculture.
In 1971 “Paris Match Magazine” sent a photographer, Jack Garofalo, to see closely the adventures of the western youth. His photographs capture idealism but also the trouble, the awe and the tender moments that young travelers share in their path. Garofalo also exposes the loyalty of his belief in exotic authenticity.
All Rights Reserved © Jack Garofalo