On October 29, 2009, the NGO Skateistan opened Afghanistan's first skateboard park. A group of 40 Afghan children, including girls and street-working kids, had been skateboarding for many months at an empty Soviet fountain in Kabul, and now had somewhere to call their own.
On November 9, 2014, the five year anniversary of Skateistan Kabul will be celebrated by hundreds of students, staff, alumni, families, officials, community members, and supporters. Local and international press are warmly invited to attend.
Built on land donated by the Afghan National Olympic Committee, the Skateistan Kabul "skate school" was designed to be much more than a skatepark, also featuring classrooms, offices, a library, and a multi-sport area. Its goal was to provide free educational and recreational programming to some of the most vulnerable Afghan girls and boys. Skateistan Kabul became a rare, safe space for children to play and learn.
Five years later, Skateistan Kabul has registed more than 1500 children into its award-winning sport and educational programming, and has more than 400 children attending each week. Dozens of Afghan youth have graduated from being Skateistan students to volunteers and staff, leading the next generation of Kabul skateboarders. More than 40% of Skateistan students are girls.
The 2014 anniversary event will include skateboarding demonstrations by the girls and boys of Skateistan, as well as various student performances (theatre, singing, film, speeches). The ten most iconic photos from the past five years will also be on exhibition.
Skateistan Kabul's success has since inspired replica projects in northern Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa.
Retrospective: 5 Years at Skateistan Kabul
2009 - Some of Skateistan's first students on a field trip to Bibimaru Hill in Kabul.
2010 - Skateistan girls do a skate demo during an event for International Peace Day.
2011 - Tamana (age 12) in front of Skateistan Kabul during Go Skateboarding Day.
2012 - Nawab, who was tragically killed that year, kickflips during 2012 Go Skateboarding Day.
> via skateistan.org
The Bleuscape Design web site features:-
All photos by Max Touhey
Demolition has only just begun on the site of Two Trees' Domino megaprojectand the neighbors are already complaining and petitioning about the noise, so this should be a fun 10 to 15 years (assuming everything goes according to plan). In the meantime, check out these photos that photographer Max Touheytook of the carnage. The Syrup Shed, where artist Kara Walker had her installation, is currently being taken down, along with the Bin Structure, the Boiler House, and some of the smaller structures including the Wash House, Turbine Room, Power House and Pump House.