It’s not unusual to see young people in African cities owning their space and having fun on skateboards, rollerblades and bikes. Skate and bike culture have grown so much on the continent that journalist, Liz Gomis decided to explore it in her latest docuseries, Africa Riding.
First aired on ARTE, a pop culture channel in France, the project follows the skating and biking lives of millennials from four African cities – Accra, Kampala, Kigali and Dakar. Gomis was inspired by the work of Swiss photographer, Yann Gross, in which he documented a group of history-making skaters.
Just like Gross’, Gomis’ work captures the fact that millennials bring radical change to the world. In addition to showing us how the subjects have managed to incorporate other aspects of their identity — from fashion to music — skating and biking, it also teaches that these sports transcend gender.
Speaking to Konbini about the impact of the work, Gomis said:
“[ARTE] is quite happy about the interest for the series. For these young people, they were able to tell their parents, friends, entourage that their passion is worth something.
People have started to have a different perception of what they are doing.”
Aside from the probability of covering more African countries in part two of the project, she plans to organize public viewing in cities where she and her crew filmed. While you enjoy an episode below, check out the rest of the series here.
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