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Documentary About Skateboarding Girls from Afghanistan Wins Oscar

At the 92nd Annual Academy Awards, a documentary featuring young girls learning to skateboard in Afghanistan won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject.

According to Diaa Hadid, International Correspondent for NPR, Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl), features a group of young girls in the Afghan capital of Kabul “clutch[ing] their skateboards, biting their lips and fiddling with the wheels” while “learning how to make tight little turns around traffic cones.” Carol Dysinger, the documentary’s director, accepted the award, along with producer Elena Andreicheva, and said that, “this movie is [her] love letter to the brave girls of that country” and that “they teach girls courage, to raise your hand, to say I am here, I have something to say and I’m going to take that ramp, don’t try to stop me.” Hadid continues that Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl) both heartwarming and heartbreaking as it offers a “look into the lives of girls in a country considered to be one of the worst places in the world to be born female.”

The school featured in the film is run by a charity called Skateistan and even has its own skate park for the 398 students to use that teaches the students “to believe in themselves through education – and learning how to skate.” According to the official Skatistan website, the organization was founded by Australian skateboarder and researcher Oliver Percovich and is the “first international development initiative to combine skateboarding with educational outcomes.” Skatistan “empower[s] children and youth through skateboarding and education” in the hopes of “creating leaders that make a better world.

Sources: NPR 2/10; skatistan.org 2/2020; IMDB 2/2020