PYMCA Photographer & Writer Jacqueline Soares intellectually hits the road with her research and inspiration on the incredibly influential Beat Generation.
THE LEGACY OF THE BEAT GENERATION
‘Each generation rediscovers Kerouac on their own terms’
Any young person growing up today will find it extremely difficult to identify the origin of this contemporary generation’s behaviour.
The Beat generation was a generation with many questions, and many answers to those questions are regarding the freedom of today’s youth.
Youth has always questioned, innovatively and creatively. They are always connected to the modern, revealing alternative paths, in an attempt to challenge our culture and society, not just youth culture.
Nothing is completely new. Even in the fifties, there was a mix between the old and the new. Nowadays, people try to label the new based on the past.
Both Images ©Robin Maddock/PYMCA
There is still a conservatism today, so youth culture needs to continue this questioning attitude.
The freedom of the Beats is in the sexuality today. Gay men and women couldn’t ‘come out’ in the fifties and sex before marriage was seen as a sin. There is much more acceptance today in previously “alternative” sexual identities, especially among young people, and this can be traced at least in part to the Beats.
The freedom to question yourself and your place in the world in today’s youth can be traced to the Beats too. They were always questioning Why? How? What? And When? These are eternal questions asked by the Beats and everyone who in-between.
They taught this youth how to be open –souled and embrace the exuberance of life.
There was no prejudice against others based on skin color or orientation. Even the music they liked was a mix of cultures, but the Beat Generation wasn’t just about sex, drugs and jazz.
Kerouac’s travel changed the mind of everyone who lived after, youth’s view about the world, the culture of the West and the view of everyone on the road.
Even those who didn’t read the book were influenced by him and his work, because he founded the culture of the road and is considered a pivotal reference to the future subcultures.