The world is somewhere else
A little over 50 years ago the first houses were built on farmland south of the Swedish town of Helsingborg. It was going to be the place for families to have their first house at a reasonable cost. The location was close to the beach of Öresund, perfect for summer days with the children. Many felt that it was the place of their hopes and dreams.
And two of them were my parents.
In 1968 I was a happy, seven years old kid, playing all day long at the building sites. When I wasn't on the beach, that was. All around us there were houses being built and families moving in as soon as they could. The growing middleclass of the sixties had found their perfect place. No one had to lock their doors, kids could be let out to play on their own and the neighbors looked after each other.
In this project I've returned to see what's happened with Rydebäck today. Meet the people that live there now and see what has changed.
Not much, it turns out. The decor has changed, but it's still the same middleclass family dream. The world with all it's problems and conflicts are far away. It's like a bubble. But this bubble seems to have given birth to ideas of them and us. Them, being people with no valid reason to be there. Beggars, foreigners, strangers. The unwanted.
Walking in Rydebäck is sometimes like walking in long corridors. High hedges and pailings everywhere. And behind them you can hear the sounds of life. Children playing, hammers banging, power tools and discussions. And sometimes the smell of a barbeque. But you don't see anything. To get in touch with those that make these sounds I have to knock. Present myself. Be approved.
This is an environment where a large portion of the Swedish middle class of today comes. Entrepreneurs, politicians, civil servants, academics and media persons. People who has shaped the Swedish society of today through their power and decision making positions. Here they got their values and opinions. And many of them returned to raise their own families here today. I meet them at the beach and gym classes, in their gardens and homes. And I'm trying to find out if I'm one of them. Or not.
But there´s also another reason for this project. It’s a documentation of a kind of place that is rarely seen. Cosy villages, thrilling cities and troubled townships are all visible in the media. But the middle class suburbia is rarely seen. Maybe it's not dramatic enough. To much daily life.
I like daily life.
Here I've published my bookdummy, since the whole project is a photoalbum and that is how I want it to be seen.