Afghan documentary Learning To Skateboard In A Warzone (If You're a Girl) just won an Oscar
Girls can pretty much do anything in the 21st century, unless they're in a warzone in Afghanistan. Nominated in the Oscars 2020 Best Short Documentary category, Learning To Skateboard In A Warzone (If You're a Girl) took home the golden man tonight at the 92nd annual Academy Awards.
This film also took home the Best Short Film win at the BAFTAs last week. The documentary follows the Esquire Middle East award winner, the Skateistan School House and Skatepark, in Kabul, Afghanistan, that teaches Afghan girls how to read, write, and skateboard.
This heart-wrenching short film shows how young Afghan girls skateboard to get away from their day-to-day reality of living in a war torn country.
Director Carol Dysinger said: [the girls] “would be very much in the house around the women helping out, hanging onto skirts, trying not to be bored and taking care of the boys or the babies, whichever there are more of or who needs it.”
Esquire previously wrote:
In 2007, a scruffy Australian arrived in Kabul with little more than a bag of clothes and three skateboards. While working during the day, Oliver Percovich would lend his skateboards to Afghan teenagers to play with. They soon became the country’s first skateboarders. Noticing how skating drew positive attention from young people from various ethnicities and genders, Percovich decided to bring more skateboards into Afghanistan, and ultimately establishing the country’s first skateboarding school – with the underlying goal to provide Afghan youth a positive outlet and a safe community.
Today, Percovich‘s non-profit organization is known worldwide as ‘Skateistan’, and has since expanded from Afghanistan, to opening schools and community centres in Cambodia, and South Africa. In 2015 Skateistan was awarded The Laureas Sport for Good Award, and a year later it was ranked as the 65th most important non-profit in the world, according to NGO Advisor, helping touch the lives of tens of thousands of children around the world.
Learning to Skateboard was one of four Arab films nominated at the Academy Awards 2020.