The year is 2016 for the entire world, where people are glued to their phones and live in a fast paced world where we are almost always connected to the internet and drive around in electric cars charged with the electric from solar panels on the roof of the house. Then there is the Rockabilly community in the USA. For this group of people, the year is 1951 and it never changes. The community lives in 1950’s homes complete with perfectly preserved Cadillac cars and furnished with authentic furniture and decorated using 1950’s accessories.
The community has a diverse mix of people with bankers, doctors and teachers being amongst them. There are some residents that choose to work within the community allowing them to maintain the 1950’s facade. Members of the Rockabilly community dress differently with some dressing more to blend in with the outside world and just adding bits of 1950’s clothing which is actually still in fashion today. Others however dress in exact replicas of 19050’s clothing with dresses, shoes, hair and makeup.
Jennifer Greenburg is the assistant professor of photography at Indiana University Northwest and has been photographing the community for over ten years. She believes that the community is happier than most as they enjoy the simple things and have an attitude that most of the people living in the 21st century tend to have.
“The middle of the 20th century in the United States was a time design was in it’s heyday.” She said.
“Everything Americans owned at the time was designed, and made by an industrial designer who laboured over not who things should function, but also, over how things look. We did not have disposable “made in china” culture like we do now. When you bought a toaster, it worked for decades, and it looked good just as long. You did not simply toss it into a landfill and head out to a big box store to buy another… Yes, even the toaster was joyous in its design” Says Jennifer.
The children growing up in the Rockabilly community seem to love their eccentric lifestyle living in the 1950’s. It’s unusual, but amazingly different and totally cool and not something that most people would be able to do.