When Sayed, Mohsen, and Hazrat first arrived to Sweden as refugees, they knew nothing about skateboarding, now it’s an important part of their lives.
Stockholm Skate Nation is an organisation working with skateboarding as a tool for finding a way into society.
Back in 2015, when the situation in Syria and Afghanistan turned from bad to worse, tens of thousands of people made the journey down through Iran, through Turkey, across the water to Greece and all the way up to Sweden. As anyone who has tried it will tell you, moving to a new country is not easy, and doing it by force rather than by will is something else entirely. Finding your way into a new society, learning the language and social codes, takes time and effort.
Seeing what was happening, a group of Stockholm skaters wondered what they could do to help. They ended up inviting groups of young people who has just arrived to Sweden to the local skate park. They had once found an identity in skateboarding, and it had brought them into areas and social connections that they could never have foreseen. The idea was that by introducing these kids to the activity and culture of skateboarding, that they too might benefit from it in the same way.
Three years later, Stockholm Skate Nation has invited over 500 people try their hand and skateboarding, and some of the first members are now active members of the skateboarding community and are developing the organisation themselves by coaching new members.
A film by Paul Botwid
Made possible by
Viktor Telégin, Axel Lindquist, Hjalmar Olsen, Magnus Gyllenberg, Fryshuset Skatepark, CHPO Brand and Regionmuseet Kristianstad
Skate Nation Stockholm is a non-profit organisation based in Stockholm, Sweden. Want to learn more or join in?
Go to skatenation.se.