Wednesday, November 28, 2012 • 12:43 PM Post a Comment

Skateboarding and Feminist Revolution in Afghanistan

posted by Pete Redington

Is there a feminist revolution of skateboarders in Afghanistan?

"Skateistan, a skate school in Kabul ... draws in nearly 400 students a week," Madeleine Davies writes for Jezebel. "Most thrilling of all is that 40% of these students are girls."

"They come for the skateboarding," notes their video, below. "They stay for education ... A "Back-to-school" program prepares 40 refugee kids to return to public schools."

"It's all very cool," continues Davies, "but nothing beats watching these little girls as they hop on their boards and shred."

It's not as simple as showing up in Afghanistan with a couple of skateboards, of course. Four of the six children who were reportedly killed in a suicide attack this past September were students at Skateistan, the organization notes on their website.

Nevertheless, it does seem like a little Dogtown in Kabul is going a long way. Hopefully, its efforts continue to inspire.

Skateistan was started by Australian skaters Sharna Nolan and Oliver Percovich, who came to Afghanistan in 2007, and appear in the video below, a trailer of their upcoming documentary, Skateistan: To Live and Skate in Kabul.

"In a country where children make up more than half the population," the movie's synopsis reads, "Ollie and Sharna soon discovered that their boards drew in local children ... After beginning regular skateboarding sessions in an abandoned Russian fountain ... a group of local boys began to join them. Then came the girls. These initial sessions, informal at first, eventually led to the foundation of Skateistan, Afghanistan's first co-educational skateboard school."

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