Kitintale – Limited edition ‘zine, 2010
Friend and fellow Piece of Cake member Yann Gross has sent me his latest publication Kitintale. It is the first compilation of work he has been doing in Uganda with a group of skateboarders who have pieced together not only a skatepark but a social network within a community so far away from the trendy scenes which have followed skateboarding more or less for 3 decades. Yann, an avid skater himself, discovered this group of daredevils while he was traveling in Uganda. Finding a skatepark was probably the last thing he expected, but when he recognized the energy here, he put together skate competitions, raising money and equipment from Swiss skate shops and manufacturers and bringing as much as he could to thier scene over the course of several visits. The bonds which grew out of their exchange became the heart of his ongoing series of these guys and girls. The work received some due recognition after winning at the Hyeres festival this year.
Joerg Colberg posted an interview of sorts with better photos than I have above. I’m doing this from the road….
Here Yann’s words, lifted from the above interview:
My pictures tell the story of the first Ugandan skateboarders, who built a skate park themselves in Kitintale, a working-class suburb of Kampala. Through skateboarding and without government help or support by any organisation, the teenagers of Kitintale have managed to ward off boredom and the negative effects caused by the poverty of their daily lives. When they are on their “Fantasy Island,” which is their skate park and their pride and joy, the skateboarders are not far from paradise: they feel freedom and a sense of community which allows them to dream and have prospects for the future.
This is a large-format newsprint publication but I am sure it will find its way to a larger book project in a few years. After you visit Yann’s site to buy one, also visit www.ugandaskateboardunion.org
to see more about the skatepark and the people involved with the project.