No, these are not the last nor the best, but they are in color..raw scans from 35mm portra film. I will be heading to NYC on monday and I will post some 6×9 scans from this series when I get back….saving the best for last! Cheers!
Picking up where I left off..I have to say that I very much enjoyed photographing the people at the Power Big Meet! The atmosphere was very relaxed, almost everyone I talked to was friendly and willing to share stories with me about their car or why they are there. Most people came with a group or with their family and had put out all their picnic or camping stuff around their car, reminding me of the ’50 nostalgia again.
And then there are the ‘Raggare’, to be found in whole of Scandivaniva and keeping a strict diet of beer and American 50′s Rock ‘n Roll culture. Mostly young people, sitting, drinking, sleeping in/on/under/around (wherever)their car. And not a nice polished classic…No, preferably a very dirty, beaten up looking US import. The Raggare-culture grew popular with the youth in Sweden from the fact that it is allowed in Sweden to drink beer inside a car. Thus, the Raggare fills his large car trunk with beer, picks one doomed fellow as a driver and sets off with a group of friends getting drunk and listening to rock ‘n roll while driving around town. I can see a definition of fun in that. During the three day lasting Power Big meet this is basically all he /she does and they start around noon, leaving the festival venue around 16:00 to join the parade of cars around the town of Västerås.
You would probably not have guessed but Rockabilly sub-culture and the love for classic American cars is HUGE on the Swedish countryside. As a non-Swede I had so many preconceptions about the country before I came to Sweden, but this was not one of them. It does make a lot of sense that these two accompanying things are big in Sweden. The post WWII 50′s and 60′s were some vibrant decades in US (and European) history where conservative norms and ways of thinking started to collide with a more liberal and ‘younger’ thoughts. Rock ‘n Roll, sex and alcolhol were are all part of that, but most importantly it was a period of great economic growth. People were positive about the future, there were enough jobs and people consumed a lot. Because of that the car industry thrived too and production lines pumped out many of the now great American classics. The American muscle-car was also created around that time. As the 70′s turned around the corner new models rolled from the factory lines in the US and the older models were sold for pennies on the dollar. Too many cars were ditched and thus prices were low. Many Swedes living on the countryside noticed this and started importing these cars to Sweden. As space is in abundance in Sweden and many people on the countryside have large barns and storage space these cars were imported on a large scale, and still are in this time and day. People keep them dry and warm over winter, restore them if necessary and take them out with the whole family during the summer.
The Power Big Meet is a yearly car venue and is organized on a field close to the town ‘Västerås’. Enthusiasts of (classic) American (muscle) cars come here to see the greatest collection of privately owned American car history standing together. I on the other hand was there to make a portrait of the typical visitor of this venue and give you an impression of the American nostalgia that was present in Västerås.