Documentary

Learning To Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)

Boys skateboard in the streets of Kabul, one student explains in the documentary, but girls would risk reprisals for daring to do so.

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In America, skateboarding can be a punky act of youthful rebellion, or at least a way to get away from your overbearing parents for a bit. In Afghanistan, it's all that and much more.

Learning To Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl) is the newly crowned Oscar-winning documentary short about female students at Skateistan, a school in Kabul that teaches Afghan kids reading, writing, arithmetic, and ripping. Started by Oliver Percovich, an Australian, in 2007 and supported by donations, the school's ongoing success and recognition makes a strong argument for the merits of cultural exchange in transforming a repressive society.

The girls in particular are pushing boundaries. Most women in Afghanistan have no formal education and few have hobbies like skateboarding, to say the least. Their school is also a refuge for self-expression. Boys skateboard in the streets of Kabul, one student explains, but girls would risk reprisals for daring to do so. One of the instructors, a former student herself, dares to dream of competing internationally in the sport.

In accepting the Oscar for her documentary, director Carol Dysinger said she hopes the film "teaches girls courage, to raise your hand, to say, 'I am here, I have something to say, and I am going to take that ramp. Don't try to stop me.'"

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  1. “but girls would risk reprisals for daring to do so” From whom and why?

    1. Baptists?

      1. Amish

  2. Fuck yeah! Shred it, girl!

  3. Apropos of nothing, I saw a gas station in rural North Carolina offering 87 octane for $1.27 a gallon a couple days ago. I didn’t stop, though, because the lines were around the block and I was on a tight schedule. I was able to fuel up for $1.39 a gallon in Virginia a few hours later. And here I’d been thinking the $1.87 gas we have in New Jersey was filthy cheap. I hadn’t seen prices so low since February 2016, when it was $1.55 a gallon in South Jersey. Fuck, I’m dreading moving to Myrtle Beach. The mere thought makes me cringe. Couldn’t even rent a hotel room this week because the governor has shut down all hotels in the state.

  4. Is this picture of a younger Gretchen Whitmer?

    1. That bitch is afraid to let people paint their fucking house during a pandemic, much less ride a skateboard.

  5. What these young girls should be taught is how to handle a gun and shoot Uncle Tanoos in his big fat ass when he objects to everything they do.

    1. Or shoot and skate at the same time. Kinda like a female Afghan version of the Finnish ski troops.

  6. was a pretty cool documentary. i still have a Gator from like 1986

  7. The delicious irony here is that Boehm fails to mention the primary reason this girl is able to even attempt to learn to skateboard: the trillion dollars and thousands of lives the US spent to try and civilize Afghanistan.

    Once the US leaves and the medieval thugs take over again, she’ll be back in the mud hut cooking goat’s head stew again.

    1. “…a strong argument for the merits of cultural exchange in transforming a repressive society.”

      Ahhhhhh, good old libertarian pollyanna-ism. Give the world rock music and empires will fall, man!

      This “cultural exchange” wouldn’t be happening, or have any prayer of success, were it not for the fact that Western Culture has been temporarily forced on Afghanistan by our government using the expensive weaponry of the US military.

      Take that away, and instead of skateboarding to class at Kabul University this girl is going to be raising 4 kids by the time she’s 20. It’s disingenuous to not acknowledge that fact.

  8. This film sounds boring as hell.

  9. Libertarians and other normal people: This article

    Feminists: cuLTUraL rELAtivISM

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