Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich created the non-profit Skateistan in 2007. This originally was a grassroots project thought to connect youth and education through skateboarding in Afghanistan. The organization caught the attention of photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson and inspired her to visit the program in Kabul in 2012.
In Afghanistan, skateboarding has become the number one sport for women. They are forbidden to ride bicycles. Soon after arriving and entering the girl’s world, Fulford-Dobson was accepted by the young Afghan skateboarders. She photographed the girls with natural light, seeking expose their personalities through simple portraits. Through these images you can see the girls’ natural confidence.
“I met so many impressive women and girls in Afghanistan: a teacher as tough and determined as any man; young Afghans in their early twenties who were volunteering at an orphanage and were passionate about being seen as strong and willing to fight for themselves, rather than as victims of circumstance; and girls who were being educated to be leaders in their communities and who were already thinking carefully about their own and their country’s future,” said Fulford-Dobson.