Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Skateistan….…..Kabul meets Lakota

Skateistan began as a Kabul-based NGO, and now operates projects in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Pakistan, with a second facility opening in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, in 2013. Skateistan focuses on reaching out to working children, using skateboarding as a tool for developing leadership opportunities, and building friendship, trust, and social capital among its students. While skateboarding is the initial way to get students involved, Skateistan is then able to provide access to education and platforms for self-expression that help break the cycles of poverty and exclusion……..

…….Ten skateboards were the result of our recent cultural exchange program known as Connecting Dots.

 The Connecting Dots project linked the young Lakota (Native American) skateboarders from the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota with the Skateistan students in Kabul. Throughout the exchange, the groups—separated by continents and oceans—exchanged key aspects of their national heritage…...

…… The creation of the first skateboards made in Afghanistan started with a set of pre-molded plywood supplied by Create-A-Skate. First, the Skateistan group worked on the geometry they desired for their skateboards. A series of initial sketches allowed for them to mark out the unique shapes on the rectangular pieces of plywood. "We got information about the measurement and cutting off the edges of skateboards. Then we measured and drew two skateboards” describes Nawid, a Skateistan volunteer. These initial sketches taught the students the basics of symmetry, weights, and information they they can apply to future creative projects……

…….Skateistan students participated in classes that involved drawing and painting the Lakota cultural symbols. This includes the famous dream catchers, which have their origins in Lakota culture, animals found in South Dakota, and traditional dress. Symbols from Afghan culture include a mosque, the traditional dress of Afghan people, and even the beautiful Hindu Kush Mountains surrounding Kabul…….

1 comment:

narf7 said...

What an excellent way to give something back to the world. I love it! :)