When you think of young women in Afghanistan, skateboarding culture is one of the last things that typically springs to mind. But, there’s a teenage girl tearing up half-pipes in the strict male dominated country who is also gaining an education through skateboarding, thanks to Levi’s® involvement in a charity art exhibition held at 1000 £ Bend in Melbourne.
Popular tattoo artist and our good friend Simon Moody, (AKA Simplesime), organised the third annual Ink Dots Black Spots exhibition to raise cash for the charity ‘Skateistan’, which connects marginalised youth with education opportunities through skateboarding.
In fact, the sport has actually become super popular amongst Afghan girls, most of whom are not allowed to ride a bike, but thanks to Skateistan they would impress any onlooker in skate parks the world over with their moves once they get a board, trucks and wheels under their feet.
“You should see all the girls in their burkas and stuff, skating – it’s super cool,” Moody told us.
Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich started the charity in Kabul seven years ago, setting up a skateboarding school as a way to connect the young kids, many of whom were living on the streets or the victims of war with education and personal empowerment programs.
He has since launched the same campaign in Cambodia and another in Afghanistan’s fourth-largest city, Mazar-e-Sharif, which is already taking off.
Moody says supporting Skateistan was a good match for the Ink Dots Black Spots exhibition, as tattooing has for so long been closely aligned with the popular past time.
“We share the same ethos,” he says, adding that it’s great to share our passion with these wonderful young people, many of whom have been hard done by because of war and inequality.
Ink Dots Black Spots has also pledged to donate a proportion of the sales from its artworks to Skateistan. “We donated six of our Trucker Jackets to the cause, that were turned into works of art by the deft hands of artists including Andy Murphy, Chris Drummond and Simplesime” says Moody, who is loving the opportunity to give back to the community in this way.
They were sold-off in a frenzied silent auction on the exhibition’s opening night, and raised $2,000 for the cause. Those at the event were not surprised that Murphy’s awesome jacket fetched $650 alone.
It featured a digital print of a skull wearing a Carmen Miranda-esque fruit headpiece, under the words “Go Bananas”.
Although the jacket artworks are all snapped up, the prints were on display at the Dangerfolks Headquarters throughout October, drawing massive interest, particularly Moody’s ‘Walking Dead” themed print. “There’s a character in Walking Dead and she passed away in maybe the third season, so mine shows that character bursting out of her gravestone,” he tells us.
The Afgan skating project will continue and we’ll be keeping tabs on the talent coming out of the program in the months ahead.
The exhibition’s prints can be viewed at the Dangerforks Headquarters: 1-5 Perry Street, Collingwood, until October 30.
Log on to www. https://dangerfork.com/shop-df/ to grab yourself one of the time-released prints before they all go.