Yann Gross: Uganda’s Homegrown Skate Park

Yann Gross
Yann Gross
Francis Mutibwa was hired by the UN to install internet networks in Sudan where he lived for several months. He saved as much money as possible to build a house for his parents in Kitintale. He's been involved in the skateboarding community since returning from Sudan and looks for funds and sponsors to expand the skate park by writing letters to embassies and companies.

Yann Gross

With the help of neighborhood kids, Jackson Mubiru built Kitintale's skate park on a small plot next to his parent's home.

During a vacation in Uganda in 2008, Swiss photographer Yann Gross heard rumors that a skateboarding half-pipe had been built in a suburb of Kampala. A passionate skateboarder, Gross grabbed his deck and the made the trip to Kitintale, where he met up with Jackson Mubiru, who built the skate park in a lot he inherited from his father. “Jackson led me through the slum, and at each cross street the roads got smaller. Suddenly we reached a wide open space where the park was located. It was like a fairy tale,  paradise for a skateboarder. Kids, some barefoot, riding on their boards with huge smiles. At that time, there weren’t enough boards or protection guards for everybody, so they had to share everything,”  recalls Gross in an interview with TIME.

What began as a several-day stopover quickly turned into several months as Gross stayed on to skate and get to know his new friends. “There was an impressive sense of belonging to the community—and not only at the skate park,” says Gross. He became so involved with the group that he has co-organized skating contests and is currently fund-raising to rebuild the ramp, which was severely damaged earlier this year because of flooding. “It’s the beginning of a skating culture in East Africa, and I’m really interested in following and supporting its evolution. I’d like to see how they grow up and what they’ll do. Things have already changed a lot these last three years. It’s only the beginning.”

To watch a video about the skate park and donate to the project, go to emphasis.com

For more details about Kitintale’s skate-park click here.

Yann Gross’s Horizonville project about a village in Switzerland obsessed with American biker culture. Is being exhibited till Sept 18th, at France’s photography festival Les Rencontres d’Arles.

Related Topics: , , , , , , , ,

Latest Posts

A man carries a child as another lies dead after two explosions on a beach in Gaza, July 16, 2014.

Why Violent News Images Matter

A recent slew of situations resulting in catastrophic violence and death has led to a renewed debate as to what kinds of imagery media outlets should be expected to show, writes Fred Ritchin

Read More
Ebola in Sierra Leone for the Washington Post

PJL: September 2014 (Part 1)

Zapruder film frame #372 of Kennedy assassination showing Mrs. Kennedy climbing towards Secret Service agent who is attempting to board back of limousine after Pres. Kennedy has been shot. Dallas. United States. Nov. 22, 1963.

When Amateur Photographers Make the Front Page

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,848 other followers