On My Radar: Skateistan “We Build Ramps, Not Bombs”
Skateistan is Afghanistan’s first dedicated skateboarding school. This rocks more than I have the writing ability to describe.
Luckily, I found this FRANK mag interview with skateboarding pro Louisa Menke that explains her participation in the school and related documentary (I’m so excited about the film!!).
Skateistan is special because womenâ€™s rights are severely restricted in Afghanistan; keep in mind that the Taliban do not even want women attending school.
You can watch the NYTimes.com piece on Skateistan right here.
Skateistan classes for boys and girls began in January of 2010. International volunteers include:
* Sophie Friedel, from Germany – professional mountain boarder
* US citizen Richard Mendez – will be assisting Skateistan for one month (instruct male students and keep the parkâ€™s equipment in order)
After her first skate session with the Skateistan students at the brand new park, the 25 year old Sophie said: â€œI didnâ€™t expect them to be so good already. Iâ€™m really looking forward to helping them improving their skate and other skills throughout the next six months.â€
The school is free for students and they are also working with handicapped and visually-challenged Afghans.
More About Skateistan
Skateistan is Afghanistanâ€™s (and the worldâ€™s) first co-educational skateboarding school. The school engages growing numbers of urban and internally-displaced youth in Afghanistan through skateboarding, and provides them with new opportunities in cross-cultural interaction, education, and personal empowerment programs. The students are selected from all of Afghanistanâ€™s diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. They will develop skills in skateboarding, skateboarding instruction, healthy habits, civic responsibility, information technology, the arts, and languages.
The students themselves decide what they want to learn; we connect them with teachers who will enable them to develop the skills that they consider important. Since Skateistan has been active in Kabul, weâ€™ve seen that Afghan youth of all ethnicities, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds love to skateboard. Skateistan brings them together, equipping young men and women to lead their communities toward social change and development. – via skateistan.org
Here are some details about the upcoming Skateistan doc:
Inspired by Skateistan, Afghanistanâ€™s ï¬rst skateboarding school, this emotional feature-length documentary is a journey deep into the lives of Afghanistanâ€™s urban youth. It chronicles the efforts of a grass-roots organization to build the first skate hall in Kabul, follows the first international crew of pro skaters on their visit to Afghanistan and tells a tale of the irrepressible hope found within a nationâ€™s children.
I can’t find the release date for the Skateistan doc anywhere so fan Skateistan on Facebook and stay informed!!!