“Geniale Dilletanten” [Genial Dilletantes], the deliberately misspelled
title of the concert held in Berlin’s Tempodrom in 1981, has become a
synonym for a brief era of artistic upheaval in Germany. The intense
cultural activity of this period developed particularly in and around
art schools and was marked by cross-genre experimentation and the use of
new electronic equipment; musical craftsmanship was frequently spurned.
The emergence of new record labels, magazines, galleries and clubs, as
well as the plethora of independently produced records, tapes and
concerts, illustrate the growth of self-organisation and the
do-it-yourself spirit of this period.
If you think you know the history of the Hippie movement, Yoga or vegetarianism in the West, and you haven’t read Gordon Kennedy’s Children of the Sun, think again. Packed with photos the late 19th century (including many of young men with long flowing hair that look as if they were t…