VIDEOLOG USER VIDEOS

Suli Skatepark ‘Building the Dream’

SHOT BYJames Holman

DIRECTORJames Holman

CATEGORYDocumentary

DESCRIPTION

Suli Skatepark ‘Building the Dream’.

In May 2018 I traveled to Sulaymaniyah, Kurdish Iraq to document the construction of the region’s first skatepark. There are massive misconceptions about the region, the people and the situation in Kurdistan. From my own and all of the volunteers’ experience of Sulaymaniyah, it is a stable, safe and welcoming city with unparalleled hospitality.

This film is essentially part 1, documenting construction and our experiences there, including visiting a Syrian refugee camp to demonstrate and get the kids hyped on skateboarding. In the months since construction, refugees are regularly bussed to the skatepark and given skateboard lessons.

The skateboard park has had an incredible impact on the community within Sulaymaniyah with the scene growing from a literal five skateboarders before construction to over 50 with many families visiting and hanging out at the park. Female participation is also very high approaching fifty percent.

In 2020 I will return to Sulaymaniyah to document the impact the park has had and continues to have almost two years after it’s construction.

Filmed, edited and directed by James Holman
Music Licences via Premiumbeat.com and Musicbed.com
Produced by Arne Hillerns, Jon Chaconas, Samantha Robison and James Holman

From Make Life Skate Life:

In May 2018, 45 international volunteers from 15 countries worked with local youth to build Suli Skatepark, providing a safe space for skateboarding in the community. Construction of the 650 m² concrete skatepark was completed in three weeks, making it the country’s first skatepark and the first international standard skatepark in the entire region.

In 2018, with the support of Skateistan, Decks for Change and The Skateroom, we ran a volunteer-led skate program at Suli Skatepark. We provided weekly skate classes to groups of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons in Iraq (IDP). The classes took place at Suli Skatepark and served 30 girls and boys every week.

Due to the growing demand for learning skateboarding at Suli Skatepark, it became vital to expand the beginner’s area of the skatepark. The 150m² Suli Skatepark extension was completed in March 2019 and ensures the safety for beginners as the locals progress in their skateboarding skills.

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