Faced with a lack of concrete, these Ugandan skateboarders took matters into their own hands and built what was likely the first skatepark in East Africa.

The first Ugandan skateboarders were inspired by television, but they didn’t have any concrete to practice on in their neighborhood. In Kitintale, a working class suburb of Kampala, they built what was likely the first skatepark in East Africa. With no assistance from the government or large NGOs, kids from Uganda took significant steps to overcome boredom and poverty through skateboarding. Skateboarding keeps the youth busy, combats the development of negative habits, and develops a sense of belonging to a community. The elder skateboarders also became educators by talking about the problems that many Ugandan families are facing, like HIV or malaria, and inculcating values such as respect and solidarity among the younger ones.

Yann Gross was born in Vevey, Switzerland in 1981. He received bachelor and masters degrees from the University of Art and Design Lausanne/ECAL. He is the is the 2010 winner of the Hyères 2010 International Festival of Fashion & Photography Swiss Federal Design Award and his work has been exhibited in solo and collective exhibitions throughout Europe.

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