Flowers through Concrete: Explorations in Soviet Hippieland (PDF) takes the reader on a trip into the lives and thoughts of Soviet hippies. In the face of repression and disapproval, they created a version of Western counterculture, competently adapting to, influencing, and shaping their late socialist environment. Flowers through Concrete takes its readers into the underground hippie land and away from, situating the world of hippies powerfully in late Soviet reality and providing both an unusual history of the last Soviet decades along with a case study of transnational youth culture and East-West globalization.
Flowers through Concrete is based on more than a hundred interviews, published documents, and private archives hidden for many years. It tells the almost overlooked story of how hippie communities sprang up across the Soviet Union in the late-60s, frequently under the tutelage of the rebellious offspring of fortunate households at the heart of the Soviet establishment. It registers how these communities linked up to make an impressive network with elaborate customs and rituals, making sure its survival for over two decades.
Flowers through Concrete narrates not only a compelling story of survival against the odds – hippies who were pestered by police, shaved of their hair by civilian guards, and restricted in psychiatric hospitals by doctors who believed non-conformism was a sign of schizophrenia – but also advances a surprising argument. It proposes that the land of Soviet hippies and the world of late socialism were not completely incompatible, but in fact interconnected surprisingly well. Eventually, it was not the KGB but the arrival of capitalism in the 1990s that ended the Soviet hippie Sistema.
978-0198788324, 978-0191092510, 978-0191092503
“In spite of the title, Flowers Through Concrete, Juliane Fürst’s superior history of Soviet hippies, breaks this sort of binary reasoning through an accurately researched portrait of a blossoming counterculture that was fully associated with Late-Soviet society.” — Marijeta Bozovic, The Times
“Fürst’s comprehensive history is based on 135 interviews with alive hippies, in addition to memoirs and personal archives. It is filled with interesting characters; documents their travels, meetings, and spiritual quests; and boasts an amazing collection of photos.” — Maria Lipman
NOTE: The product only includes the ebook, Flowers through Concrete in PDF. No access codes are included.