Bohemian Revolution

Karen Orton
Santiago Rodriguez Tarditi

Welcome to the bohemian revolution. Worldwide, a growing community of unconventional thinkers, spiritual seekers, purpose-driven entrepreneurs, and nomadic travelers are changing the cultural landscape, and redefining the aspirations of 21st-century life. You can find them microdosing psychedelics in the Silicon Valley tech world while spearheading activist initiatives to protect the oceans. Still, equally, you’re just as likely to encounter them having a transcendent experience at a Sufi retreat, on the playa at Burning Man, partaking in an Amazonian sananga ceremony and dancing until sunrise at our agora in Mykonos.

“During the last major bohemian movement in the1960s, they opted out. They dropped out of college, they moved to communes in the countryside—their protest statement was, ‘We don’t want to be part of this society,’” says author Julia Chaplin. Her new book, The Boho Manifesto, serves as a handbook to understanding the group of people she calls “gypsetters.”

“Now, this bohemian movement is exactly the opposite,” she explains. “They’re saying, ‘Our protest is that we want to be part of society and the cultural dialogue. We’re going affect change from the inside—by participation, not by abandonment.’”

The Boho Manifesto is part cultural investigation, part personal travelogue and part tongue in cheek guidebook to the stereotypes that run rife in these circles. Julia charts scientific research on the benefits of meditation and describes the evolution of new nomadic working culture. She also details the pros and cons of dating your shaman, the difference between his and hers caftans, how to do interior design that “signals to any visitor that they’re not your average normie Tinder catch.”

Bohemian to the core, gypsetters are a group of trust-funded artists, broke charismatics, office-averse entrepreneurs, globe-trotting environmentalists, and spiritual seekers who lead semi-nomadic, unconventional lives.

Julia breaks down the attendees of the boho business meetings, from the model turned sustainable swimwear designer and the venture capitalist to the social entrepreneur. She also expounds on permaculture and farming as a form of activism, as well as elaborating on the benefits of adaptogens, and the eternal appeal of an ideas festival. “I wanted to bring all these disparate ideas together under the banner of ‘bohemian’,” she says. “Food, tantra, meditation, and changing attitudes towards work, sex, and health.”

Illustrator Spiros Halaris and publisher Artisan Books

Scorpios encapsulates this bohemian movement by celebrating ideas exchange, spiritual growth, and personal development, as well as a diverse music program— and will continue to pioneer this approach, digging deeper in seasons to come.

“The structure of Scorpios, the architecture, design, programming, the facilitators—promotes a conscious way of communing,” Julia says.

“There’s a big difference between going out to party to get obliterated, or going out to meet new people and experience collective frequency of joy, dancing, and connecting with people is that it’s really consciousness expansion,” Julia says, referencing the new festival culture that typifies this group. “A lot of these festivals promote something a little deeper. That whole circuit gives you exposure to all of these different healing modalities.” There are many facets to that expansion. “Psychedelics and the cannabis movement are about expanding the mind, not contracting it,” she says, adding—“still, you’re not in an ashram, it’s a party. But it’s about the expansion of thought and community.”

Sprinkled throughout the book are illustrations depicting an assortment of characters who make up this growing global community—Julia takes it as a welcome opportunity not to take oneself too seriously. From the barefoot globe-trotting Gypset Family, the wealthy Polyamorous Couple + Unicorn, the Tantric Yogi, the fierce female Postapocalyptic Predator at Burning Man, the Bone-brother, and the IPO Guy—not to mention the Activist Farmer and Fermentation Goddess. “I love this movement, I am part of it,” Julia says. “But I also feel like it lacks humor and self-expression—in many ways, that holds it back. You can hear things like, ‘You’re not evolved enough.’ It can be dogmatic and mimic other oppressive forms of religion or gatherings. I wanted to remind people in this world, ‘Hey, you can also have fun. It doesn’t have to be so serious.” She adds, laughing, “I promote joy and freedom - that’s my dogma.

”The bohemian revolution is only beginning—thanks to digital connectivity, the continued blurring between work and play, and the upswell of activism around the global climate emergency—the bohemian movement is championing a new path forward, be it through consciousness expanding festivals, sustainability-driven ideas festivals or introspective illumination.“

This bohemian movement is on the ascent,” Julia agrees. “It’s just going to get bigger—it’s by no means at critical mass. Yes, in certain circles it’s known and commonplace, but a lot of these ideas are just gaining traction. It’s going to be a while until it reaches its full stride. Easily a decade or more.”

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