Despite major setbacks this year, the New York Morelia Marathon Team (NYMMT) has come through for the second year in a row with a substantial donation for Skateistan. In the wake of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, the city of New York deemed it necessary to cancel the New York Marathon for the first time in 40 years. The NYMMT did not let this hold them back, and nevertheless managed to raise a remarkable €8,072 ($10,417) on behalf of Skateistan. This donation comes at a really great time for Skateistan, as we just ran our first ever fundraising campaign, “Keep Skateistan Rolling.”
For the first time, the full-length documentary featuring Skateistan will be available for online viewing. On Nov 13th 'Skateistan: Four Wheels and a Board in Kabul' will be released in the US on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Vudu, and Xbox Live. The film also premieres in theatres this month in Hamburg (starting Nov.8th), Düsseldorf (starting Nov.13th), San Francisco, and will be released worldwide on DVD soon.
The thought-provoking documentary tells the story of how girls and boys in Kabul discover skateboarding and make it their own, bringing about the birth of the Afghan NGO Skateistan. ‘Skateistan: Four Wheels and a Board in Kabul’ also includes exclusive footage from a visit to the project by the first professional skateboarders to visit Afghanistan: Louisa Menke, Cairo Foster, Kenny Reed and Maysam Faraj.
The film is the winner of the 2011 Cinema for Peace Berlin award for Most Valuable Documentary, among other strong receptions at several International Film Festivals. This surprising story holds significance to skateboarders around the world, the international aid community, educators, and anyone curious about Afghan culture.
For the last month the Skateistan design team has joined the Skateistan team in Kabul to professionally document our activities and teach special classes with staff and students. Skateistan’s designers, Alexandra Bald and Ana Lessing, are members of the Berlin–based art and design collective C-D-A-P and designed the recently-released Skateistan Book.
Over their month-long visit to Kabul, they ran a series of classes introducing art and design skills to Skateistan students. One of their most popular classes was an advanced photography class with staff and youth volunteers which was based around a German fairytale adapted to Afghan culture.
The culmination of this photo class was an action-packed, half-day photo outing with 21 youth and staff from Skateistan. Below, Alex and Ana explain more about the project and what it was like shooting a fantasy photo series within three hectic hours, one recent morning in Kabul.
New video: Through my Eyes - Faranas
Afghanistan's Girl Skaters
Skateistan: To Live and Skate in Kabul
"Skateistan is the epitome of what skating is all about. I honestly share in the excitement those kids feel!"