8 aprile 2021


A time of intense struggles and emerging new values, the Sixties witnessed deep social changes, becoming a myth, alive as a subject of great interest until today.

by Emilio Asti

A dramatic but also enthusiastic moment in history, the sixties have been the subject of many discussions and articles, but various things regarding that period remain unsaid, and should be evaluated in a correct way, putting aside stereotypes.

No decade in modern history has generated more controversy than the Sixties, an age when many things began to change, and several
contradictions burst out.

When focusing on those years, often considered a time of social revolutions, drug taking and sexual indulgence, apart from social turmoil, a period of optimism and hedonism appears, but the reality is more complex and difficult to characterize. Those years, not yet untainted by globalization, witnessed the rise of feminism, anti-war movements, the quest for peace and for civil rights, yet some other things have been overshadowed. The traditions to which the earlier generation had conformed were deeply questioned, and a different scale of values was proposed.

Today we often talk about women’s rights, protection of the environment, but their roots can be retraced to those years.

If we look back critically at the ‘60s, we will realize that those years, like any historical period, had also a dark side, but we cannot forget the sincere enthusiasm of so many young people who didn’t hesitate to commit themselves to carrying forward their ideals, despite the many mistakes they did. It is remarkable to consider that now various cultural values of the ‘60s are somehow emerging again.

Winds of change blew through the world, unrest and social chaos were dominating in many countries, and on the international scene various dramatic events occurred. Throughout the world democracy confronted communism in the so called “Cold War”, and this struggle erupted in various parts of the world, and on August 1961 the construction of Berlin Wall exasperated the tension between East and West. The two superpowers stood at the precipice of a nuclear war, and on several occasions, peace was endangered.  Various nations were struggling for independence, new States were created and several of them seemed to be turning to communism.