Photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson immediately knew there was something mesmerizing about the girls of Skateistan, a school that teaches skating to kids in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa. “The very idea of Afghan girls on skateboards captured my imagination … Here was an opportunity to photograph young girls doing something exceptional in a beautiful, albeit war-torn, country,” the children portraitist told HuffPost. Forty percent of Skateistan’s members are young women ages 5 through 25, and 60 percent of their Afghan members grew up in poverty. Their decision to skate is quite the statement in a country where women are not even allowed to ride bikes. The photographs show sparkling, sprightly girls, beaming with toothy grins or confidently coasting by, showing off bright skateboards which are adorably almost as big as they are. Fulford-Dobson snapped away in natural lighting, allowing the children’s true spirits to shine through. What comes through is what we see in children all over the world, the human spirit, universally resilient and driven to play. “They hurl themselves forward with unstoppable courage, and if they take a tumble they bounce right up again, running back to the queue and cheering on their friends,” the artist said. “Life for these skate girls is undeniably different in so many ways to that of their Western counterparts, but it’s also touchingly, heartbreakingly and amusingly the same.”
Read the full story at The Huffington Post.