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Backpack AmbassadorsHow Youth Travel Integrated Europe$
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Richard Ivan Jobs

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226438979

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226439020.001.0001

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East of the Wall, South of the Sea

East of the Wall, South of the Sea

(p.194) Five East of the Wall, South of the Sea
Backpack Ambassadors

Richard Ivan Jobs

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the centrality of music and rock ‘n’ roll to these travels and how the geopolitical limits of the Cold War circumscribed them but also, importantly, how youth culture and youth travel expanded this social space into the eastern and southern peripheries of Europe, including Spain and around the Mediterranean. The New Age Travellers, young nomads of the 1970s and 1980s, who adopted a lifestyle of illegal trespass out of their peregrinations between music festivals and concerts, spread out from Britain to continental Europe, adopting a near stateless existence. Notably, it was the music and travel culture of the young that in many ways was most successful at traversing the Cold War division of Europe with considerable attention focused on Berlin as a kind of unruly frontier space of cultural transfer. The conclusion of the Cold War itself was punctuated by a 1990 performance of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” in the wasteland of Potsdamer Platz with 350,000 young people from all over Europe in attendance. Yet even as the circuits of travel expanded and the exclusions of class, gender, and nationality diminished, those of race and ethnicity persisted in the political context of decolonization and immigration.

Keywords:   Berlin Wall, Cold War, immigration, music concerts, rock ‘n’ roll, Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, Spain, youth culture, New Age Travellers

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