Skateistan Canada is proud to host the official Skateistan book release tonight at Antisocial Skateboard Shop. If you've read my review in Issue 10.3, you'll know this book, entitled "Skateistan: The Tale of Skateboarding in Afghanistan", is well worth picking up. Even better, 100% of book proceeds will go directly to Skateistan.
SKATEISTAN: The tale of skateboarding in Afghanistan
Ed. Jim Fitzpatrick & Rhianon Bader
This hefty 320-page book begins roughly 5 years ago, when 33-year-old Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich arrived in Afghanistan with three skateboards and an "open spirit." Having traveled to more than 40 countries worldwide, ‘Ollie’ had repeatedly experienced how skateboarding could bridge language and cultural gaps between himself and complete strangers, so naturally he shared his skateboards with the local Afghani youth. "After those loaner boards came back in tatters,” he recalls, “with the kids screaming, 'We need more skateboards’,” Ollie understood right away how this simple toy could become a tool to build trust and provide empowerment through a combination of skateboarding and educational activities.
This tome is packed full of photo spreads from Afghanistan’s rugged landscape, to heavily armed Afghani men huddled against scrubby mountain backdrops, to a young Afghani girl in a headscarf riding a skateboard down a dusty street, plus stories that cover Skateistan’s past, present and future as told by the staff, volunteers and students who make up this Kabul-based non-profit organization. But as I thumbed through this book I didn’t immediately see images of Westerners grinning proudly next to their needy Afghani charity cases. It was clear to me that those behind Skateistan had sidestepped the spotlight allowing it to fall directly on the Afghani children and communities they set out to serve.
This book is an incredible documentation of Skateistan’s history as a revolutionary program that uses skateboarding as the ultimate tool for change and showcases its vibrant and life-changing achievements in the midst of a scarred and war-torn country. Closing reflections by legends Stacey Peralta and Craig Stecyk sum it up best: “A skateboard park and school surrounded by war makes perfect sense in a senseless world, doesn’t it?”
- Benny Zenga
Two notable Afghan-Canadian women: filmmaker Brishkay Ahmed and actress/artist Mozhdah Jamalzadah, will be in attendance and will do short presentations at the event.
Full Details Below:
Skateistan Canada Book Release in association with Antisocial Skateboard Shop
Date: Thursday, September 6th, 2012
Time: 7:00PM - 10:00PM
Location: Antisocial Skateboard Shop, 2337 Main Street, Vancouver, BC