Fakie and Skate Biladi at Tashkeel
Fakie by Fn Designs is a skateboard art exhibition currently running at Tashkeel till 18th February. The first edition was in held in May and this year's edition includes 30 skateboards that were donated by Maysam Faraj of Skate Arabia. His old, worn-out and borken skateboards have all been turned into a piece of art (including a couple of clothing accessories) by 30 different artists based in the United Arab Emirates.
Skateboarding has been a part of my life for about seventeen years, and it has changed me in every conceivable way. Through it, my eyes have been opened to a view of the world people seldom get to experience. Most of all, it has taught me that through destruction comes creation. With skateboarding you tear through streets and, to the outside world, leave destruction in your wake. Your shoes and flesh become scratched and torn. Slamming into the sidewalk, and scuffing paint off handrails, or curbs, you are often only seen for the havoc you wreak. For the one riding the board, controlling it with every part of your soul, it is more. More than a sport or a lifestyle, it is an art form.
Every skateboard I have owned has been my means of creation, until it too is destroyed. To see my boards, that have been broken and splintered while aiding me in my craft, be transformed by other artists, is almost a magical continuation of their cycle. They can now continue to challenge ideas and opinions, inspiring and leaving an impression on the world. Maysam Faraj
Alongside this exhibition is Skate Biladi (which means Skate My Country in Arabic), a "social media skateboard experiment" that brings us the culture of skateboarding which is still in its early stages in Dubai. A very large skateboard ramp called the Tashkeel Art Ramp has been built for this event. The ramp makes up the word Tashkeel in Arabic, which is the name of the venue. It looks quite cool and I've seen the skateboarders having a lot of fun on it.
There have been quite a few events and workshops since the ramp was opened on early Januray. The closing event will be held on 17th February and everyone is invited to attend to take photos with their smartphones, upload them to Facebook and tag the person skateboarding as well as Tashkeel. The aim is to accumulate “likes” based on those photos throughout the night.
The accumulated “likes”, along with the photos, will be displayed in real time on screens surrounding the Tashkeel Art Ramp so skaters can see their ranking and adjust their performance and interaction with the photographers to increase their “likes.” The skaters with the most “likes” at the end of the night, as well as the photographers who get the most “likes” for their photos, will be awarded amazing prizes.
I do find the social media angle a bit gimmicky - but will be fun to see all the action on the ramp. The event will include a barbecue and a DJ playing some tunes - so it should be a fun evening.
Here are a couple of videos of the Tashkeel Art Ramp.