Oliver Percovich is an Australian skateboarder who put together a non profit organization in 2007 called Skateistan. This is a grassroots effort that encourages education in young people through skateboarding. This organization has won awards and impressed Jessica Fulford-Dobson, a london-based photographer who decided to take a closer look at the program in Kabul. She was particularly intrigued after she learned that 45 percent of the students were girls.
Skateboarding has become the most popular sport for women in Afghanistan, since they are not allowed to ride bicycles. Jessica Fulford-Dobson, once she saw these girls, took pictures of them in natural light. These pictures show a lot about these girls, such as their impressive natural confidence as they were skating.
She stated, “I met so many impressive women and girls in Afghanistan: a teacher as tough and determined as any man; young Afghans in their early twenties who were volunteering at an orphanage and were passionate about being seen as strong and willing to fight for themselves, rather than as victims of circumstance; and girls who were being educated to be leaders in their communities and who were already thinking carefully about their own and their country’s future.”
Jessica won the second place award for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize in 2014 with Skate Girl, one of the pictures that she took in Kabul. “Jessica Fulford-Dobson: Skate Girls of Kabul” is an exhibition that will be running from April 15 to April 28 in the Saatchi Gallery in London.