Go partying with Ingvar Kenne, visiting Bachelor & Spinster Balls across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
In a letter to author Tim Winton, Ingvar Kenne writes: “The B&S Balls are uniquely Australian, but to me, at the bottom of it lies this universal thing. Youth are taking control of their journey in a need to break with authority in their lives, and consequently abandon that control. Completely. We have lost what older cultures gift their youth with, as a means to both break and bond when transiting to man and woman hood, through initiating ceremonies. In Western societies it seems to be similar solutions for youth across continents, although with a different front. In the US it’s Spring Break or Burning Man, in Sweden we have crazy midsummer and crayfish parties where things regularly gets completely chaotic. All fuelled with alcohol and various substances to help. It has been the tradition for so long it has become a new norm.”
Tim Winton replies: “Are these really rites of passage or just franchised and endlessly repeated piss-ups after which everything and everyone is pretty much the same? I’m not sure, to be honest. And maybe I’m expecting too much. But you see the problem: once we dignify something by calling it a rite of passage we’re forced to expect something of it. We quite rightly look for some larger meaning in it. And with the B&S Ball I struggle a bit, but I’m a novelist, not a sociologist or an anthropologist.”
96 pages, 21 x 25 cm, hardcover, Journal (Stockholm).