Here’s Christian Petzold‘s film about skateboarding in Nairobi, Kenya. It perfectly captures the essence of what skateboarding is about – no bravado, no image, no bullshit – just the shared joy of exploring your environment on a piece of wood.
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The following is Christian’s story regarding the project:
“In 2013 I got a phone call from a friend of mine who was working at the time for an NGO that was focused on building skateparks for kids around the world.
He asked me if i would be down to help build the first skatepark in East Africa/Nairobi/Kenya for a project called Shangilia, with the condition that I had to make the decision quickly. After a short while, I called him back and said yes, unsure of what I was getting myself into.
However, upon arriving and meeting the locals, I was fascinated by the small but strong skate scene in Nairobi. I started interviewing some of the locals and making some shots with my 8mm camera.
During the 3 months of construction work for the skatepark, I was continually impressed by the work done by the locals, kids and teachers of the Shangilia project, their unstoppable power and their passionate belief in skateboarding.
Sammy Karugu was one of the locals I interviewed and we developed a good friendship. In conversation, he told me he had filmed his friends skating around the city with a small digicam. This short documentary is made out the footage he showed me, my own 8mm film and the interviews.
I think this video will give you a glimpse into the skate scene of Nairobi and will help you appreciate the importance of helping independent projects.”