Monthly PsySocial: "Countercultural Festivals - A Common Past, Which Future?" with Chiara Baldini

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For this month's PsySocial we welcome Chiara Baldini who is a raver, researcher and freelance curator from Florence (Italy).

Back in the 60s, a transnational youth-led movement revolutionized Western culture in unprecedented ways, inspired by the wish to live a more fulfilling and authentic life, in a world where peace would prevail over war, where all people could live as equals, and where consumerism did not determine people’s lifestyles. The hippies embodied the first alternative to the capitalist and patriarchal system: they became “The Counterculture”. Their political side was rooted in the Civil Rights movement, comprising feminism, gay rights, and black and indigenous liberation. The spiritual side, on the other hand, was centred around a variety of New Age spiritualities aimed at re-infusing the universe and nature with a soul and providing alternatives to traditional religion. Rock music and psychedelics became their bonding agents and festivals were born as spaces where countercultural values could be experienced and spread.

In this presentation, Chiara will draw from her experience as curator of the cultural area of important independent events, to explore the evolutionary trajectory of countercultural festivals in the contemporary European scene. Where do we stand 55 years from Woodstock? Is the counterculture still united or have its souls split in different activists’ lineages? How can the next generations continue on the path of independent festival culture beyond and across the divides?



19:00: Arrive, socialise & order food
19:30: Last arrivals
19:45: Talk & Q&A with Chiara Baldini
21:00: Socialise & network



Join us at 7pm on Wednesday 17th April at our favourite London hangout, LoveShack

A cool, cosy, candlelit patch of vegan paradise tucked under the railway arches of Cambridge Heath Station. They have an enticing new menu for 2023 (Shroom steaks and lion's mane cacao!) so you may want to arrive hungry. We just ask that you order and eat before we kick off at 7.30pm, or after the speaker has finished.

Flying solo? The majority of people arrive at our Monthly PsySocial events alone! It's a great opportunity to meet other like-minded people and members of our community. We leave plenty of time after the talks for conversations and connections.



Chiara Baldini

Chiara Baldini is a raver, researcher and freelance curator from Florence (Italy). She has been the program curator of Boom Festival’s cultural area Liminal Village from 2010 to 2023. In 2015 and 2016 she set up and curated ConTent, the first cultural area in Fusion Festival, Germany. She has recently co-curated an anthology called “Psychedelic Mysteries of the Feminine”. She is currently a PhD candidate at the California Institute of Integral Studies, investigating the evolution of ecstatic rituals in ancient Greece and Rome. She has been living in Portugal for the past 13 years and she often plays as DJ Clandestina.





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