giovedì 13 agosto 2009

Waiting for the Jamboree: Time Escapists

This will be the last one of my "Waiting for the Jamboree" posts, as tomorrow's the day: the 10th edition of the Summer Jamboree is here!

Ten days of fun dedicated to the culture of late 40s and 50s. Beautiful and "refreshing" indeed, before coming back to the everyday routine!
But for a growing number of people "escaping" from the 21th century, retreating into the past is not only a part-time fun occupation but a way of life.


In 2008 the British Channel 4 aired Time Warp Wives *, a very controversial documentary by Sally Hewitt, featuring Debbie, Diane, Joanne and Sammi, four women that live every detail of their every day life like they're in a past era.

For Joanne and Debbie it's the 50s, while Sammi and Diane are devoted to 40s and 30s, respectively (read interviews with three of them here ).


While this can be considered a bit creepy ( Pleasantville and the two movies about The Stepford Wives come to mind!) or depressing or utopic from certain points of wiev, I think it's also fascinating. I mean, it's not just about vintage dresses here and isn't certainly an easy thing to make this kind of choice in 2009 world without trapping yourself in a time capsule. I don't even know if this is possible without falling in continuous contradictions... It's not easy to recreate a perfectioned version of a bygone era just for you, while all the people around you are living in a contemporary world and probably would not understand what you're doing. It requires talent, patiente, personal balance and cold blood. Cynically - and just for a second- I wonder if this also requires a pinch of hypocrisy...

Is this the pursuit of happiness? Is it just a palliative for our need of living in a perfect world, built around a stereotypical idea of old times - styled from movies and tv, skipping troubles and bitterness? Is it a way to live according to your own values and psychology, without facing the judgement of others?


I really don't know what it is, but in the end I think it's all up to people and it's not fair to simplify and standardize personal experiences. Some of the women in the documentary have then declared they felt misrepresented by the film, so there's probably a lot more to see and to know. We already knew it indeed...


All in all it's not important why people make a certain choice. The point is that people CAN make that choice and if someone feel confortable and happy with something without hurting anyone, than it's ok.

As for me, I totally don't feel the urge to live 100% in the past (is it possible withouth owning a time travel machine, anyway?) but I'm happy with the opportunity of being just a "part-time time traveler", like I wrote in my profile, and have fun without all the confusion!


* At the moment you can have a look at Warp Time Wives documentary here although - and weirdly enough - it works just if you're in UK...!!

17 commenti:

Jilliebeanie ha detto...

What an interesting article! Thanks for sharing!

selinaoolala ha detto...

ah yes thanks so much for sharing this! i just watched the documentary, were you able to watch it in the end, i can't tell? i love anyone who will go to extremes with their style, be it totally trashy or totally retro! the women were amazing, what dedication, it looks so amazing to have every little part of your life sorted and perfect. hard to achieve of course, and maybe unrealistic, but these ladies prove you can totally indulge your passions to whatever level you want. i thought they were beautiful, especially the younger '40s girl, stunning!

AlicePleasance ha detto...

@ selina: yes, I saw it last year, when it was still available on YouTube :-)

Berry ha detto...

Oh my goodness! I sincerely wish I could attend that Jamboree! I ADORE early 20th century culture and that seems like an amazing festival! You must let us know how it goes!

I agree with what you said - we can't live in the past. Although I do think that the world has lost a lot of the good morals and values that people possessed back then, we have made such big steps in other issues - women's rights, technology, medicine... -that it would be a bigger step backward if we claimed that those were better times.

Amelia ha detto...

The summer jamboree sounds so cool! The 40s and 50s are my favorite timeperiod in style.

PinkBow ha detto...

interesting, shame i missed the channel 4 programme :(

Rachel C. ha detto...

sort of off topic, but not really - i totally had a "stepford wives" dream last night. it was beyond creepy and i won't go into it, but everyone was dressed so well! ha!

xoxo

Rebecca, The Clothes Horse ha detto...

Wonderful post; I definitely find it fascinating. I do feel people are seeking to return to an ideal time that never existed, but at the same time if living this way makes them happy, then why not?

moto ha detto...

sweet pictures :D

Jessica Cangiano ha detto...

Would you believe it, I haven't seen the Timewarp Wives before? I so wish it would get broadcast here in Canada, too! Thoroughly fascinating points raised about what it means to eschew the modernity of 21st century life entirely. I'm off to read each of the links you mentioned, thank you very much for the "food for thought", honey!

Have a truly fantastic time at the Jamboree, I'll be there with you in spirit! :)

♥ Jessica

Indie.Tea ha detto...

Awww, I can't watch it (being in the U.S.).

Ariella ha detto...

This was such an interesting and inspirational article and pictures. Thank you for sharing, dear :)

Joanne ha detto...

What a fascinating post! The jamboree sounds like so much fun! 40's and 50's clothes are so beautiful! I must watch this documentary! It's so interesting to see how other people live. I remember listening to the Chicago Public radios and they had this special on people who want to be almost like superheroes and they would do so many things to try to achieve that. So interesting! :)

Lizzie ha detto...

Interesting post. I hope you has great fun at the Summer Jamboree.

My SIL and I were just lamenting certain aspects of the past. I was born in 1955, so I can remember some of the eras these women are trying to recreate. Even in the early 60s a woman put on her face and fixed her hair before going to the supermarket. Gloves and hats were just part of one's outfit.

Personally, I think more people are way too sloppy and careless about how they present themselves, but I'm really glad that I don't have to squeeze my body into a girdle and my feet into heels just so I can pick up dinner!

AlicePleasance ha detto...

@ Rachel C: LOL, I alway thought the same about the dresses in the movie(s) ;-)

@ Indie.Tea: I'm with you (being in Italy). I saw it months ago though, when it was still available for us non-UK based on YouTube.

@ Lizzie: oh yes, that would be mad!

Tink in My Closet ha detto...

Such an interesting posts. Love the pics too, your blog is always enjoyable!

MissRedLips ha detto...

oh no! i wish i was in the UK so i can watch the video!

thanks for sharing anyway!

xo,
missredlips