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Community Swing

© Stephanie Gengotti

They walk among us, but they are not like us. They live among us, but they don’t live like we do.

They have chosen to “live” in the legendary dual decade of the 1940s and 1950s, the years of gospel, R&B, swing, be bop and rock n’ roll. They are the Community Swing.

And if the first part of the 1940s was troubled by the World War folly, it was also enlightened by Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Carl Barks, Arthur Miller, Georges Simenon, Enrico Fermi and the Via Panisperna boys, just to mention a few. The fifties instead were the years of reconstruction and faith in peace, despite the cold war; the years projected toward new horizons of joy and great hope for humanity. The C.S. leaders don’t want to be alternative, their entire existence is alternative.

With a frenzied and joyful soundtrack, free from hypocrisy and watered-down compromise.

There are no borders for the Citizens of this imaginary but real country, since each one of them belongs to different nations, but they have one flag only: music.

The Community Swing photographic project doesn’t express them with one image only, on the contrary it playfully unravels their identity.

It isn’t secret or obscure, because they don’t hide and would have nothing to hide. They are clear and smiling, proudly vintage, just like the music they listen to and dance every day, as well as during their international festivals, for example, the famous Summer Jamboree Festival of Senigallia, where the female author of this work “discovered” them.

Community festivals where they meet up to share their common inexhaustible passion. New polished shoes, shiny hair with brillantine, flawless charm and elegance, both in the women’s and gentlemen’s look; or their children who are just as enthusiastic about their parents collective “frenzy”. As if they had just come out of the best Jazz Clubs in NYC or Chicago, or as if they were getting ready for a dancing cocktail in Honolulu.

Is it just a trick to fool Kronos? No, it’s a matter of style. Or rather a philosophy of life.

And then, we all know, you might even prefer Cold Jazz to Warm Jazz, you might run off with a poor and lying saxophonist or fall in love with the wrong person: nobody is perfect….

What matters is to live the swing!

click to view the complete set of images in the archive

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