Last week, Huck Magazine came out with 'Valley of a Thousand Hills', a moving video portrait of a South African Zulu community's youth who has embraced skateboarding and in turn has created a more positive mindset and greater sense of togetherness in the community. However we realized that South Africa's Zulu heartland is not the only area and youth community to be pioneering an emerging skate scene. Here are some of the coolest and youngest skateboarding cultures emerging around the globe.
South Africa's Valley of a Thousand Hills - iSithumba Village
In the Valley of a Thousand Hills, South African pro skater Dallas Oberholzer built Indigo Skate Camp, which has helped to shape the small Zulu village's first generation of skaters. Now somewhere between 30-40 young Zulu villagers participate in the program, which alongside skateboarding also teaches self-respect, health and safety, art and music; supporting the kids’ formal education and aims to tackle the disconnection of the area’s young people from the rest of the country.
Skating in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa
In 2013 a local youth group called Ethiopia Skate was formed in Addis Ababa. It’s garnered a lot of international support, with international skaters getting involved in all different ways – from providing tuition on the ground to donating gear to Ethiopia’s next generation of skaters. Berlin-based photographer Daniel Reiter has been documenting the city's skate culture for the last year, and has been involved in the building of Ethiopia's first and largest concrete skate park.
The Young Female Skaters of Havana, Cuba
In Cuba there is a boom of women wanting to skate. However the lack of female representation in the already small, underground community of skaters in the isolated country, poses big challenges day-to-day for the young community of women that want to ride. Director Amberly Alene Ellis’ documentary Amiga Skate profiles three young women at the heart of efforts to build Cuba’s fledgling female skate scene.
Malmö, Sweden's Todabidarna Community
There's a small local girl's organization in Malmö, Sweden called Todabidarna. The organization does a lot to encourage girls’ skating in the region, and in this short documentary Mimmi, Phil Evans digs into the mindset of a dedicated skater, considering questions of drive and freedom.
Skateboarding in Pine Ridge
There’s a lot of struggles on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It’s a place with minimal job opportunity, brutal winters, and growing epidemics of both youth suicide and alcoholism.Despite immense adversity, the Pine Ridge Reservation has found community and inspiration in skateboarding. In what started out as a handful of kids pushing around the desolate reservation casually has become a hundred skater population and a catalyst for a community to awake and support a young generation of the Sioux tribe.
Palestine's Skateboarding Scene
People in Palestine just don't know what skateboarding is. It's new and no one had seen it until about two or three years ago. Now a small a small group of teenagers has created a skate scene from scratch in a place where you can't even buy a skateboard, whilst facing the challenges of living under military occupation.