We had a skype exchange session with India, we had some Breakdance Cyphers and rappers on stage and we saw Joel Sames fantastic photo exhibition “Round the Potholes”. All together at one nice place in Bugolobi, called the Fas Fas.Photographer Joel Sames has been following Street Culture activities around the globe. His photographs allow an insight into the skateboarding, breakdance and Hip-Hop scenes of Afghanistan, India, Cambodia and Uganda. Joel especially focuses on programs and organizations using the empowering qualities of those subcultures in the field of development cooperation and peace work.

The exhibition “Round the Potholes” presented on the one side kids who were hitting the streets of Kabul on their skateboards, performing an “oli” or practicing at empty places in their hometowns.

On the other side the exhibition allowed an inside view to the Breakdane Project Uganda which was founded in February 2006. BPU uses breakdance and other elements of the Hip Hop culture as a tool to empover and unite young people and provide them with skills and confidence to become active, socially conscious individuals. Joel Sames escorted BPU for more than one month, documenting the work with his camera. His own eyes were sometimes even faster than the moves of the B-Boys to obtain the perfect photo. The camera worked as some kind as a bridge between the breakdancers, their goals and the viewers. But not only the camera and the photos give people a platform to be heard. There was one more magical thing at the exhibition, which was responsible for the awesome atmosphere: The Street Culture.

Street Cultures like skateboarding, breakdancing and street art have the fascinating potential to bring people of different backgrounds together, bridging the gap between their social and cultural differences, and thus creating an opportunity for exchange and cooperation. Hip Hop, skateboarding, and BMX are no longer only part of Western culture, but have become global phenomena that are growing especially quickly in Asia.

Many of the people that are involved with these activities have recognized that sport and creative programs can be connected to “Empowerment” and education in a very sensible way. The networks of these various street cultures work in an informal way to overcome language, codes and symbols. Consequently, heritage, religion, skin color, or social status are pushed into the background. All in all it´s a big family. You can feel the spirit and motivation of young people who are hungry for the next challenge.

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