Sundance Film Festival 2011 "Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul"

I command thee to watch this! A beautiful film on Skateistan is showing at Sundance this year, and is featured in the SFF screening room on youtube today.

[from Skatistan's facebook page]
Skateistan is Afghanistan’s (and the world’s) first co-educational skateboarding school. The school engages growing numbers of urban and internally-displaced youth in Afghanistan through skateboarding, and provides them with new opportunities in cross-cultural interaction, education, and personal empowerment programs. The students are selected from all of Afghanistan’s diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. They will develop skills in skateboarding, skateboarding instruction, healthy habits, civic responsibility, information technology, the arts, and languages. The students themselves decide what they want to learn; we connect them with teachers who will enable them to develop the skills that they consider important.

Since Skateistan has been active in Kabul, they’ve seen that Afghan youth of all ethnicities, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds love to skateboard. Skateistan brings them together, equipping young men and women to lead their communities toward social change and development.

If I had eleventy billion dollars, I'd spend the summer volunteering in Kabul at Skatistan. I love this project so much! I first learned of it through my friend, documentarian, Jake Simkin who picked up his life and moved house to Kabul from Melbourne in order to be present and be available to document life in war ravaged Afghanistan and to help make a positive impression on kids with relief efforts and educational opportunities. Presently he's a media and skate instructor at Skatistan, and probably bouldering too, they have a new climbing wall  =) I understand he's got a group learning to snowboard in the for the second winter in a row up in the mountains directly above Kabul. Imagine riding nice long sweeping curves around an ancient citadel. *snif* so awesome. Rideistan yo!

Jake is a truly inspiring friend, artist and activist. I am genuinely moved by his enthusiasm and compassion. I'm sharing this in hopes that you too may be inspired to carry your art far and wide for the greater good.
To follow up on this ... After posting this I wrote Jake and asked what all it would take to for me to volunteer over a summer. I've opened a window of opportunity to discuss the possibility. W00T


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