Touche d' Espoir
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During the summers of 2015 and 2016 I have been taking part as a volunteer in project called " SKATEPAL", which aims to introduce skateboarding to the children of the West Bank, Palestine, by building skateparks, offering skateboards and teaching skateboarding.
While I worked as a volunteer, giving skateboard lessons and travelling around to meet Palestinian skateboarders, I took the opportunity to capture the everyday lives of Palestinian children in photographs ... what do they do ?, what do they have to face under military occupation ?, and what could skateboard bring them ? .
For skateboarders around the world , a skateboard is more than just a toy. It is a tool for self development, self confidence, perseverance and gives you the possibility to look at your surrounding as a playground. More than this skateboarding is a lifestyle made of sharing, travelling, discovering, having fun with your friends without barriers of class, "race", age and gender.
40% of Palestinians are under the age of 15 and more than 50% of young people are struggling to find work. Cultural, educational and sporting opportunities offer a chance for young people to be involved productively in their community.
With this short explanation it still becomes obvious what skateboarding can bring to children living in such a situation.
But most of all skateboarding for Palestinian youth is Resistance ! A message saying that no matter what "israel" can do, whatever wall they can put up ... they will keep on having fun, smiling and skateboarding ... they will keep on living, existing and resisting !