Picture Show: Skateistan
Those of us in the Western world probably imagine of Afghanistan more in terms of soldiers and bombs than skaters bombing hills. Last summer, however, Noah Abrams learned about the country's emerging skateboarding scene, and the photographer immediately jetted to the war-torn nation to find a small but thriving culture—where children who have seen some of life's most brutal realities can still find fun on four wheels and a plank of wood.
"Skateboarding has been a part of my life since I was a kid," says Abrams, "and did a great to deal to help shape my personality and the way I view the world. So the idea of getting to spend some time with these kids and show them that by choosing to skate, they are part of something much larger than what is immediately around them was very important for me. In addition, the opportunity to have that kind of cross cultural connection and dialogue was just too intriguing to pass up."
Prior to going, Abrams did some research to put his family at ease about what danger he might encounter, but beyond that, he made a concerted effort to leave his preconceptions behind. What he found was nothing short of incredible.
"The smiles and genuine excitement the kids had for skateboarding were quite simply one of the most pure expressions of joy I have ever had the privilege to witness," he says. "To see that kind of happiness exist in a place that has seen such hard times, for me, was really humbling. I can really only speak from the time I spent in country, but in my experience, life there certainly isn't easy. However, spending time there was a great reminder that although culturally we may be very different, at the end of the day our goals as people are pretty much the same. We all want to be happy, and no one wants to suffer."
What follows is a selection from Noah Abrams's "Skateistan."
The Now-Infamous ‘Sobbing White Supremacist’ Has Been Banned By OkCupid “We make a lot of [decisions] every day that are tough. Banning Christopher Cantwell was not one of them.”
Architects’ Lead Singer Stands Up Against Sexual Assault At Netherlands Festival People are starting to fight back against sexual assault at festivals.
Secret Service Needs A $60 Million Budget Increase Because Of Trump's Big, Vacationing Family Without a budget increase, agents won’t get paid.
Seattle Mariners’ Nelson Cruz On How Baseball Helped Him Save His Hometown “I didn’t know anything about how powerful baseball was.”
J.K. Rowling Roasts Trump For His Latest ‘Unbelievable’ Achievement After a disastrous week, Trump managed to bring two rival nations together in agreement. Sort of.
SNL’s ‘Neil DeGrasse Tyson’ Will Celebrate The Eclipse In A Most Unusual Way Residents of Clayton, Georgia might want to shield their eyes for more reasons than one.