Tattooing is the most misunderstood art form in Japan today. Looked down upon for centuries and rarely discussed in social circles, people with tattoos are outcasts in this country, banned from most public spaces such as beaches, bathhouses, and even gyms. Tattoos have an extensive history in Japan, and to truly understand the stigma behind them it is essential to be aware of their significance. The first records of tattoos...Read More
ON OCTOBER 20TH, over 10,000 skateboarders rallied up in Plaza de Mayo to protest against not having enough space to skateboard in Buenos Aires. I was fortunate enough to partake in the public rally, and it was clear what the demonstrators were demanding. A skateboarding protestor named Augustin stated, “We want more space to practice. The city is full of bike lanes, but for skaters there is almost nothing.” This protest was set up through social media, which is simply crazy when looking at the number of the turnout. This led me to the following question: if there are over 10,000 skateboarders generally at a good skateboarding level strongly requesting for more public practicing space, where are they skateboarding now? My goal was molded from this.
The goal: to locate and ride all possible skateboard spots in Buenos Aires. Not just that, though, but to investigate the culture of local skateboarders. When beginning my goal, my hypothesis was that there is little space to skateboard because of the image that the skateboarders are giving off to the general public. When looking at this now, I can’t help but question to myself “how could I be more wrong!”
The common theme I found in all of Buenos Aires’ skateparks is the unique culture of the people. The people we met had been some of the most welcoming skateboarders I have encountered. Locals here don’t practice individually or in small groups, which is common in North America. Here, they are all a community. Once a person has entered the park, he instantaneously becomes a part of the group. The skaters treat each other with a great deal of respect, even if the other is at a varied level. The friendly culture is what really stood out to me during my visits at each park.
Oh, and don’t worry, I completed my goal! Check out my Flickr page to see some brief write-ups about the parks I visited!