The Art of Contemporary Psychedelia
٢٦ أبريل ٢٠٢١ | Shankra Culture

When we analyze the influence of psychedelia on culture, we usually begin our research with the 60s counter-culture and pacifist movements in North America. The explosion of psychedelic sounds in music and trippy shapes in art followed the spread of ancient rituals and practices, such as yoga and meditation. It could be said that psychedelia originated from a contemporary interpretation of ancient traditions, mixing innovative aesthetics with references from the tribal culture, giving voice to the restlessness of a generation.

In the 80s and 90s, psychedelia rose back with a new twist: the rave culture spread around Europe and with it, the new generation of free thinkers and rebels looked for new ways to express the idea of freedom, identity and alternative ways of living. Sounds became hypnotizing, deep and fast, resonating in abandoned places and temporary autonomous zones.

Values of freedom, self-determination and community have always been the basis of psychedelic culture: by promoting these values, it is possible to build an opposition to contemporary society, which has been pushing for individualism, conformism and standardization for the past decades.

Contemporary psychedelia could be described as an heterogeneous mix of 60s aesthetics and tribal inspirations (interpreted through the recent technologies), sounds and structures from the rave culture, with new revolutionary aspect: the global nature of the new psychedelic wave. Inspirations and experimentations from artists, musicians and thinkers from around the world can now meet and be discovered by everyone. Virtual streaming services such as Youtube allow musicians to present their music, while yoga teachers and meditation experts have virtual lessons and conferences. We can enjoy a live set directly from Brazil, after attending a conference on collective consciousness from India.

This mutual exchange of ideas allows the contemporary psychedelic culture to be extremely diverse, reaching people from different backgrounds and cultures, covering a broad spectrum of musical and artistic tastes. We can dance side by side with our friends traveling from afar, sharing opinions about music we listened and art we enjoyed. We can follow events that are happening on the other side of the world and participate to workshops virtually.

Contemporary psychedelic culture has the chance to spread its core values like in no other generation in history. Let’s keep sharing words, ideas and sounds of freedom, love, kindness and innovation!

The world awaits.

Psychedelic Trance - An Introduction
٤ مارس ٢٠٢١ | Shankra Culture

The Musical Family of Psychedelic Trance: a Brief Introduction

The powerful positive effects of trance states in our brain are generally recognized by science, psychology, and spirituality, being at the roots of human culture worldwide.

Through hypnotic sounds and palpitating melodies, fast tempo, and high-pitched effects, Goa trance is the sub-genre of Trance music directly related to the original meaning of trance. Goa trance originated during the 1980s in Goa, India: exponents of the 1960s and 1970s counterculture, free-minded spirits, travellers and people looking for alternative ways of life found themselves on the wild Indian beaches, exploring the newborn sounds of electronic music.

Coming from psychedelic inspirations from the 1960s and 1970s rock music, passing through the first electronic touches of 1980s disco rhythms, Goa trance incorporated the spiritual drive of countercultures with the energy of the new explorations with technology. At the time, everything was done and mixed on DAT tapes: long tracks that allow progression from mid-song climaxes to soft breakdowns, full of uplifting melodies.

With the development of digital media, Goa trance evolved and generated various sub-genres, where the common ground remained the hypnotic and repetitive rhythm. 

Psychedelic trance music became the collective term used to describe a crowded family of genres, and a specific one, characterized by the energetic rhythm that ranges between 120 and 200 BPM. The term Goa trance remains in use, describing the particular genre of uplifting, melodic, and positive music. 

Diversification derived from different speeds, type of sounds, and emotional messages led to the creation of many subgenres, such as Full On, Progressive, Dark-Prog, Dark-Psy, Suomisaundi, Zenonesque, Psybient, Avant-Garde Psy, to name a few.

Explore and get inspired by the different waves of sound from Shankra Festival Soundcloud

Free Love: Tel Aviv's Vibrant LGBTQ Community
١٥ فبراير ٢٠٢١ | Shankra Culture

Freedom begins when you feel at home, wherever you go, wherever you are, whenever you can be yourself

At Shankra Festival, every human being is welcome to be themselves, embrace diversity, and love each other without prejudices or fear of being judged. We value everyone’s uniqueness and deeply believe that through performative art, psytrance music, transnational culture and a united community, we can create an harmony that resonates through time, reflecting each other’s beauty not only in our celebration, but also in the outside world, creating empathy and taking care towards each other.

Today, we want to present a community that stands out for its audacity, that despite possible diversions, shows to the globe that love is stronger and ever-giving: when we get together to celebrate life, we stand out against fear.

Tel Aviv aka the City that never sleeps

Called the “City that never sleeps”, Tel Aviv is popularly known for its splendid beaches, rich culture, and its vibrant LGBTQ+ Community. The city is, in fact, an open-minded, progressive and welcoming place and is internationally recognized as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world, welcoming human beings despite their sexual orientation or gender identification. The city warmly embraces everyone, secular or religious people and a younger or older generation, creating a sparkling pluralism of thoughts, beliefs and values. Here, human beings celebrate inclusively, recognizing a diverse community that works hard to support its LBGTQ members in the everyday life.

The lively energy of Tel Avis’s LGBTQ+ Community is part of an extraordinary one-of-a-kind journey, and it a result that integrates diverse identities, freedom and tolerance. The LGBTQ+ community is an integral part of Tel Aviv’s culture, and the city’s nightlife is one of the liveliest in the world.

Open Call For Submissions
١٢ فبراير ٢٠٢١ | Shankra Culture

The expression of our ideas, feelings, and visions has the power to feed our soul, define our identity, and create a connection with people around us.

At Shankra Festival, we would like to give the possibility to express inner talents and exciting insights, not only during our festivals: we are collecting ideas right now!

An entire new section entitled “Community” will be dedicated to our expressive authors.

If writing is your passion and you wish to share your knowledge with our community, send us your feature topic articles at info@shankrafestival.org with the subject: Article Collaboration!

The Symbols of Love - A Visual Journey
٨ فبراير ٢٠٢١ | Shankra Culture

As humans, the moment we started to represent visually the world around us, we transformed images we see in representations, which in some cases became symbols.

A representation illustrates reality, while a symbol has the power of transmitting an idea through a simple, sometimes abstract, image. Even if we don’t speak the same language, symbols can help us to communicate directly, when shared between cultures.

Some symbols are universal and archetypal, shaped by what Carl G. Jung defined the collective unconscious, a level of consciousness that all people have in common, carried over from our earliest ancestors, while others are unique to certain cultures, bearing an history that can be discovered only exploring the local traditions.

What are the different symbols of love in cultures around the world? Love is one of the universal emotions that people experience, being love for a partner, love for family, love for Nature or love for something that makes us feel good. Let’s explore some visual representations of this complex and beautiful feeling.

The Multiple Identities of Seasons
٣ فبراير ٢٠٢١ | Shankra Culture

From the extreme heat of desert sand, to the candid whiteness of polar snow, Nature expresses herself in very different ways around our planet. Right now, the mountains that guard our Swiss Shankra Valley are resting under the soft touch of snow, while in Sri Lanka, the other home of Shankra Festival, temperatures reach above 30°C.

We, as human beings, have developed vocabularies that are specific to different areas of the world, producing sometimes unique interpretations of natural phenomena.

Seasonality describes changes in the environment as our planet passes through its solar year. In temperate regions, we can experience spring, summer, fall and winter, but environmental changes occur seasonally everywhere on the planet.

Why do we take for granted that generally there are four seasons? Ecologically speaking, a season is a period of the year in which only certain types of floral and animal events happen. In different parts of the world, wildlife and flora change in different ways, following the specific climate of the area: this means that many interpretations of season were introduced by cultures around the world.

Going back in history, the most important division was introduced by ancient Egyptians, who defined three seasons - flood, growth, and low water - following the rhythms of former annual flooding of the Nile. This three-seasons system is still in use in some tropical areas, for example in Thailand.

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