Truth be told it’s getting harder and harder to pique my interest in anything skateboarding related. So saturated is the internet with photographs, films and other projects based on thrill-seeking of the four-wheeled-board-based variety that it takes something truly original to batter through the grey drapes of my banalisation.
Skateistan though is something truly special, an NGO set up in 2007 teaching young Afghans skateboarding and creative arts. The inherent clash of cultures and generations would be head-turning enough but now the team behind the hugely successful programme are releasing a beautiful book looking at the project’s first five years.
Designed by Alexandra Bald and Ana Lessing, Skateistan: The Tale of Skateboarding in Afghanistan features new interviews with founder Oliver Percovich, essays, photographs and personal stories from those who have benefitted from Skateistan’s many milestones, such as opening the war-torn country’s first ever skatepark.
But this is not a book that focuses on the difficulties of living in Afghanistan, rather it celebrates the spirit of the younger generation – through the prism of a global pastime – on whom the refashioning their nation will fall.
The book is launched on June 9 with all proceeds going to the programme.