Skateboard diplomacy

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Visualtraveling – The Persian Version from Patrik Wallner on Vimeo.

Iran and skateboarding in the same sentence seems rather incongruous. But there is a growing subculture of young Iranians who are defying an older generation, many of whom discourage any hint of Western influence even on sports and leisure.

Visualtraveling’s The Persian Version is a fascinating and engaging look at this growing phenomenon.

International sanctions against Iran has meant that imports from the West are hard to come by. No problem: Enter Iranian resourcefulness and ingenuity. Some have fashioned skateboards out of solid steel. Mohammad Javad Rahimi, a 27-year-old engineer and skateboarder made his own deck using eight layers of wood he describes as being similar to Canadian hard maple.
The film also offers interesting insights and visuals about Iranian life today — which not many Westerners have access to. While Iran continues to have diplomatic ties with about 100 countries, it continues to be a pariah in the West, including the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. broke diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980 after a group of Iranians seized the the U.S. Embassy and took 52 American hostages following the ouster of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s regime. Canada broke off relations in 2012, citing alleged human rights violations and support for terrorist organizations. – The Origami staff

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