X LONDON BARTLETT SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE CONCRETE WAVES AND THE RISE OF FEMALE SKATERS

As skateboarders, architecture shapes our behaviour through urbanism and design. With the rising visibility of female skaters worldwide, an international group of both former and current professionals, alongside recreational skaters explore how skateboarding not only influences our agency over public spaces, but as women, how this unique lens can become a lifelong vehicle of empowerment.

PANELISTS

Alexis is amongst the most respected female street skateboarders in the world. Since capturing the attention of the skateboard world in 2002 with her part in PJ Ladd’s Wonderful Horrible Life, she went on to claim 3 X Games gold medals in women’s street, and is currently one of the only pro females on several all male teams including New Balance Numeric and WKND skateboards. Alexis has managed to balance an academic life alongside her skate career, earning degrees in Architecture from Columbia University and MIT. Alexis also works as an artist and animator for WKND skateboards, a design consultant for New Balance Numeric, and is trying to finish a 300 page graphic novel.

Maria is a skateboarder from Italy and founder of the lifestyle brand COPSON. Maria has always been heavily influenced by skateboarding since taking it up at the age of eleven. On a year out from her Fashion Marketing degree in Manchester, Maria spent a summer skateboarding in Barcelona and launched COPSON STREET as a blog to host her inspirations at the time – focusing on skate, style, and ambient music. It naturally grew to encapsulate the life around skate subculture and has now evolved into a lifestyle brand. Maria is currently based in London and hosts ‘The Copson Golden Hour’ on NTS Radio.

A pioneer in her own right, at the age of 16 Jaime became one of only three female skateboarders to earn a cover of Thrasher Magazine. Featured on the April 1994 issue, her 360 flip at A’ala skatepark in Honolulu was her first skate photo in a magazine. Jaime has had parts in over 15 skate videos including for Thrasher, Zoo York, multiple 411 VMs and most notably in Real’s Non Fiction (1997). Jaime turned pro for Rookie skateboards and had a signature pro shoe model for Gallaz footwear. In 2003, she made contest history by being the first person from Hawaii to place at the X Games. After stepping away from skating professionally In 2009, Jaime has spent the last three years steadily returning to skating.

Louisa is a photographer and retired pro skater who was born in Algeria and grew up in Hoogeveen, Holland. In 2009 Louisa travelled to Afghanistan with fellow pro skater Kenny Reed and the pair released ‘Some Time to Smile’, a book documenting the work of Skateistan at their first skate school in Kabul. Although she doesn’t skate professionally anymore, Louisa can be found shredding the streets of her current home town, Barcelona, on a daily basis.

A household name in UK skateboarding, Lucy is a well travelled pro skateboarder and the Chair of Skateboard England. At the top of the British skate scene since 2009, winning the UK Skateboard Champs and Girls UK Skate Jam numerous times, Lucy has been a tirelessly upbeat presence in UK skateboarding for years now. Lucy’s efforts to make skateboarding more accessible for girls includes setting up Brighton based She-Shredders coaching sessions. In 2017, Lucy celebrated over twenty years in the game with a Pro Model on Lovenskate, a 12 page interview in Grey Skate Mag, and a new part ‘Master of Camouflage’.

Elissa is one of the most recognisable names in women’s skateboarding. She began skating in 1989 and went onto film some of the era’s most influential video parts for Welcome To Hell and Jump Off A Building. In 1998 she turned pro for Toy Machine and became the first female skater to win the inaugural Women’s Street category at Slam City Jam. Elissa has three X Games Gold Medals, won first place at The World Cup of Skateboarding and Triple Crown, and was the first female skater to be featured in the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series. After a great run, Elissa has quietly walked away from competing and spends her days surfing, skating and running her brand Gnarhunters in San Francisco.

LONDON AUDIENCE Q&A

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X PERFORMA 17
WHOSE HOPES ? WHO’S FEARS ?

Barbara Kruger’s instantly recognizable – and frequently appropriated – white Futura Bold font over red blocks has become ubiquitous in the skate community. What is lesser known is that her work is rooted in broadcasting highly charged messages that engage issues of and ideas about power, desire, identity, consumption, and feminism. HD was invited to host a panel as part of Performa 17’s programming which aimed to not only address shifting political and cultural currents, but to reflect on Kruger’s installation at the L.E.S. skate park. Major shifts in skateboarding explored on the panel include the recent induction of skateboarding in the 2020 Olympic games, increased normalization of skateboarding into popular culture that has increased female participation, and increased corporate interest to capitalize.

PANELISTS

Lacey Baker is one of the most respected and admired female street skaters around the world. Making her mark at age 17 as the only girl competing against the guys at Tampa Am (earning a spot the semi-finals) Lacey has gone on to showcase her style and unmatched technical ability on film and in contests for nearly a decade. In 2013, Lacey released a full part with Thrasher Magazine, who described it as one of the best female street parts they’ve ever seen, only to be outdone by her 2017 “My World” full video part. Lacey has dominated the contest scene, maintaining podium finishes at X Games for the past 3 years in Brazil, Oslo and Austin. In October of 2016, Lacey earned the coveted World Champion title at SLS Women’s Super Crown World Championship. Admired for her technical skating and unparalleled consistency, Lacey’s abilities on her board put her in a category of her own. Landing tricks that no one else can even fathom and exuding style on and off her board she is easily many skaters’ favorite. Underneath the fierce competitor, her goofy, fun-loving and laid back attitude earns her adoration from fans around the world. Lacey is passionate about design, music, fashion and helping to grow skateboarding to be an all inclusive and welcoming community.

Photo: Nam-Chi Van

Sara Konekeo started skating in Boston in the mid 90’s when female street skateboarding coverage was pretty nonexistent. She brings a laymen’s perspective to contrast the panel of females with household names in skating and those with deeper connections to the industry. She decided to get involved with the project with the interest in adding a broader societal dimension to the conversation. She wanted to shine a light on unconscious compartmentalized behavior brought on by a lifetime of subliminal patriarchal propaganda and expose important connections to the world outside of skateboarding; microagression, oppression, insidious terms not generally associated with skateboarding. She is currently working on research and analytical papers on gender roles in skateboarding through various angles. She draws energy from the social activism at The New School where she is currently Senior Associate Director.

Alexis Sablone is amongst the most respected female street skateboarders in the world. Since capturing the attention of the skateboard world back in 2002, as the only girl to have a part in PJ Ladd’s Wonderful Horrible Life video, she went on to claim 3 X Games gold medals in Women’s Street, and is currently one of the only pro females on several all male teams including New Balance Numeric and WKND skateboards. Alongside her skateboarding career, Alexis has managed to balance an academic life as well- something fairly uncommon amongst her professional skateboarding peers. She holds an undergraduate degree from Columbia University as well as a Masters in Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to skateboarding, she works as an artist and animator for WKND skateboards, a design consultant for New Balance Numeric, and is trying to finish a 300 page graphic novel.

Photo: Arto Saari

A pioneer in her own right, Jaime Reyes would become one of only three female skateboarders to have earned a cover of Thrasher Magazine at the age of 16. Featured on the April 1994 issue, her 360 flip at A’ala skatepark in Honolulu was her first published skate photo in a magazine. Her segment in Real skateboards “Non Fiction” (1997) would prove to cement her role in the industry as she appeared in over 15 skate videos including Thrasher’s “Donut Duty”(1995), Zoo York “Heads”(1999), Vicious Cycle (2005), and multiple 411 VM’s. Jaime would eventually turn pro for Rookie skateboards in addition to having a signature pro shoe model for Gallaz footwear. In 2003, she made contest history by being the first female or male from Hawaii to place at the X Games. In Spring 2009, longtime sponsor In4mation introduced her pro model series. That same year she decided to step away from professional skateboarding due to personal reasons. However, in the last three years she has steadily returned to it noting that,”During the years I wasn’t skating, I realized that skateboarding is the one thing that has always made me happy.”

Photo: Josie Perez

Elissa Steamer is easily one of the most recognizable names in Women’s Skateboarding. She began skating in 1989 and would later go onto film some of the era’s most influential video parts for “Welcome To Hell” in 1996 and “Jump Off A Building” in 1998. She would soon turn pro for Toy Machine skateboards and became the first female skater to win the inaugural Women’s Street category at Slam City Jam. She also rode for Bootleg skateboards, highlighted by her part in “Bootleg 3000″(2003). In 2006, she began riding for Zero skateboards, eventually leaving the company in 2011. With many accolades under her belt including 3 X Games Gold Medals in Women’s Street, first place at The World Cup of Skateboarding and Triple Crown, she became the first female skater to be featured in the first five games of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series. After a great run, Elissa has since quietly walked away from competing and spends her days surfing, skating, and running her brand Gnarhunters based out of San Francisco.

Photo: Arto Saari
Gnarhunters

Kea Duarte – Casual Hawaiian skateboarder & artist residing in Miami Beach, FL.

CHAPTERS

  • 0:05 – Intro to HD
  • 2:05 – Performa Backstory
  • 3:23 – Intros
  • 10:52- Kruger
  • 23:59 – Were you encouraged to skate?
  • 34:00 – ‘Skateboarding is not for women’
  • 48:00 – Have you ever felt slighted?

X 224 MULBERRY
WOMEN IN SKATEBOARDING

Skateboarding is stereotypically thought of as a male sport. With the a significant number of growing female participants, this panel takes a cursory look into the world of women in skateboarding. From skating parking lots to sharing how the insidious oppressions that exist within the culture are felt, each panelist offers candid insight to this layered discussion.

PANELISTS

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Lacey Baker is one of the most respected and admired female street skaters around the world. Making her mark at age 17 as the only girl competing against the guys at Tampa Am (earning a spot the semi-finals) Lacey has gone on to showcase her style and unmatched technical ability on film and in contests for nearly a decade. In 2013, Lacey released a full part with Thrasher Magazine, who described it as one of the best female street parts they’ve ever seen, only to be outdone by her 2017 “My World” full video part. Lacey has dominated the contest scene, maintaining podium finishes at X Games for the past 3 years in Brazil, Oslo and Austin. In October of 2016, Lacey earned the coveted World Champion title at SLS Women’s Super Crown World Championship. Admired for her technical skating and unparalleled consistency, Lacey’s abilities on her board put her in a category of her own. Landing tricks that no one else can even fathom and exuding style on and off her board she is easily many skaters’ favorite. Underneath the fierce competitor, her goofy, fun-loving and laid back attitude earns her adoration from fans around the world. Lacey is passionate about design, music, fashion and helping to grow skateboarding to be an all inclusive and welcoming community.

Photo: Nam-Chi Van

Kea Duarte – Casual Hawaiian skateboarder & artist residing in Miami Beach, FL.

Arianna Gil is a 24 year old multi-media artist inspiring the future of youth to believe in the power of justice as the driving force behind cultural organizing. She specializes in youth culture and youth resistance to alienation under capitalism, labor organizing, the NYC underground, skateboarding, anti-fascist organizing, style and sex. Obsessed with new artistic mediums ( streetwear, community programming, & music) the thread that pieces her work together is the concept of coalition, building across difference and facilitating group storytelling. She studied Jazz bass performance and politics at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music & College of Arts & Sciences in their double degree program, has toured internationally with SZA and is the creative director and co-founder of BRUJAS and 1971. She is regularly designing, skateboarding, DJing, recording and producing records, reading critical theory and dreaming up solutions to the problems facing her friends and larger community.

Brujas
Photo: via milk.xyz

A pioneer in her own right, Jaime Reyes would become one of only three female skateboarders to have earned a cover of Thrasher Magazine at the age of 16. Featured on the April 1994 issue, her 360 flip at A’ala skatepark in Honolulu was her first published skate photo in a magazine. Her segment in Real skateboards “Non Fiction” (1997) would prove to cement her role in the industry as she appeared in over 15 skate videos including Thrasher’s “Donut Duty”(1995), Zoo York “Heads”(1999), Vicious Cycle (2005), and multiple 411 VM’s. Jaime would eventually turn pro for Rookie skateboards in addition to having a signature pro shoe model for Gallaz footwear. In 2003, she made contest history by being the first female or male from Hawaii to place at the X Games. In Spring 2009, longtime sponsor In4mation introduced her pro model series. That same year she decided to step away from professional skateboarding due to personal reasons. However, in the last three years she has steadily returned to it noting that,”During the years I wasn’t skating, I realized that skateboarding is the one thing that has always made me happy.”

Photo: Josie Perez

Alexis Sablone is amongst the most respected female street skateboarders in the world. Since capturing the attention of the skateboard world back in 2002, as the only girl to have a part in PJ Ladd’s Wonderful Horrible Life video, she went on to claim 3 X Games gold medals in Women’s Street, and is currently one of the only pro females on several all male teams including New Balance Numeric and WKND skateboards. Alongside her skateboarding career, Alexis has managed to balance an academic life as well- something fairly uncommon amongst her professional skateboarding peers. She holds an undergraduate degree from Columbia University as well as a Masters in Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to skateboarding, she works as an artist and animator for WKND skateboards, a design consultant for New Balance Numeric, and is trying to finish a 300 page graphic novel.

Photo: Arto Saari

Sara Konekeo started skating in Boston in the mid 90’s when female street skateboarding coverage was pretty nonexistent. She brings a laymen’s perspective to contrast the panel of females with household names in skating and those with deeper connections to the industry. She decided to get involved with the project with the interest in adding a broader societal dimension to the conversation. She wanted to shine a light on unconscious compartmentalized behavior brought on by a lifetime of subliminal patriarchal propaganda and expose important connections to the world outside of skateboarding; microagression, oppression, insidious terms not generally associated with skateboarding. She is currently working on research and analytical papers on gender roles in skateboarding through various angles. She draws energy from the social activism at The New School where she is currently Senior Associate Director.

CHAPTERS

  • 19:20 – Intro
  • 21:25 – How did you get into skateboarding?
  • 30:15 – When did you feel you started to become
    more comfortable skating in public?
  • 35:38 – Parking lots
  • 40:20 – One of Three Women
  • 41:17 – Criminalization of Skateboarding
  • 51:26 – Anti-Establishment / Olympics
  • 54:16 – Personal Style/ Sponsorships
  • 1:06:00 – Occupational
  • 1:17:51 – Fake News
  • 1:18:42 – Vogue.com
  • 1:23:00 – Gloves Off

X 224 MULBERRY
SKATEBOARDER OWNED BUSINESSES

Panelists will share their journey from skate rat to adult life and breakdown how skateboarding has influenced their choices each step of the way. HD’s first panel features friends who I’ve met through skating who run their own business. We look at how, as skateboarders, risk adversity might translate to business while also examining the role of “controversy” within the industry through skate graphics and branding. Panelists recount both their struggles and opportunities, while sharing how they’ve carved a career from it.

PANELISTS

Arianna Gil is a 24 year old multi-media artist inspiring the future of youth to believe in the power of justice as the driving force behind cultural organizing. She specializes in youth culture and youth resistance to alienation under capitalism, labor organizing, the NYC underground, skateboarding, anti-fascist organizing, style and sex. Obsessed with new artistic mediums ( streetwear, community programming, & music) the thread that pieces her work together is the concept of coalition, building across difference and facilitating group storytelling. She studied Jazz bass performance and politics at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music & College of Arts & Sciences in their double degree program, has toured internationally with SZA and is the creative director and co-founder of BRUJAS and 1971. She is regularly designing, skateboarding, DJing, recording and producing records, reading critical theory and dreaming up solutions to the problems facing her friends and larger community.

Brujas
Photo: via milk.xyz

Spencer Fujimoto is a former pro skateboarder, turned jewelry designer who is the owner of El Señor, the first and only skateboard jewelry brand. Most skaters were first familiarized with him through World Industries 1992 “Love Child” video and his expansive career thereafter. El Señor aims to “preserve skate culture and heritage” which is embodied by a collection that reflects the sometimes overlooked symbolism inherent in skateboarding.

El Señor New York
Photo: via ruamagazine.net

German Nieves grew up in Paterson, New Jersey finding a connection to skateboarding at a young age and the passion for the aesthetic. Nieves conceived the Paterson brand which serves as a nod to the heritage of the city that shaped his creative outlook on the world. It was a cross cultural business experience coupled with his admiration for street style and overall fashion that compelled him forward in the industry for years to come. Paterson has been consistent due to German’s vision of keeping his collections succinct and carefully choosing the retailers that help tell the story of each season.

Paterson League
Photo:Waylon Bone

Seth Rosko is a bicycle frame builder in New York City. Born on Long Island in 1974, Seth found skateboarding and punk rock at a young age, and this inspired him to go in search of an adventure that led him to the city’s Lower East Side in the late ’80s. He spent his formative years entrenched in the DIY/punk scene of Manhattan’s Alphabet City, altering jobs in construction, bike messaging, and as a shop mechanic and skate park builder. After hours projects saw him traveling the world with the band Crash Worship, jumping freight trains across the country, racing vintage motorbikes, and building many co-operative skate parks, including the Autumn Bowl in Greenpoint, the C-Squat ramp, and more recently the Nike wave sculpture on the Bowery as well as the Noah bowl — all in NYC. Seth has made bicycles for everyone from king of dirt contenders to courier champions, hip hop royalty, and of course the neighborhood superheroes. Rosko Cycles continues to promote the growth of cycling in the area by supporting grassroots and shop teams, as well as individual riders. Seth does not own a car, or eat animals, and he still lives in Alphabet City, in the home that he built himself, with his wife and son.

Rosko Cycles
Photo:Cooper Ray

CHAPTERS

  • 2:02 – How did you get into skating?
  • 17:10 – Has being a skateboarder helped you deal with challenges you’ve encountered in your business?
  • 23:00 – Perception in brands
  • 25:36 – Technology Amplifying Controversy
  • 29:46 – Controversial Skate Graphics Era
  • 30:55 – Brujas/ Politics
  • 41:15 – Brujas Fucks
  • 44:00 – Audience Questions
  • 49:27 – Boys Club
  • 1:06:00 – Tension is not the enemy