Suburbia revisited.

The year was 1968 and I was a happy seven year old boy using the buildingsites around our house as a playground. When I wasn't at the beach. All around our new home there were being built new houses, into which families moved in as soon as they could. The middleclass of the sixties had found their paradise. Your own affordable house in a place that felt safe and idyllic. This was the future. No one had to lock their front door. Children could be out and play on their own and neighbours helped each other.

 

The place where I grew up is called Rydebäck, a large suburbia situated along the coast of Öresund in the south of Sweden. I left it 35 years ago to start my own life, and now I'm back to see what's changed since I left.

 

It turned out that not much has changed. Well, the decor has been updated of course, but otherwise it's the same middle class dream based on prosperity and comfort. The world, with all it's problems and conflicts, are far away. It's like being in a bubble.  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, 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. Become approved.

 

But this is not just a nostalgic journey. I'm documenting 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 of daily life.

 

I like daily life.