"Situación de Calle" / Gerardo Sosa / INTERVIEW

One seldom gets to hear about a full-length skate video exporting itself straight out of Argentina, embracing the wider world with only due audacity. If spots have been the prey of skate tourism for a long time and some key names might have crossed the border a few times, local productions are generally underrepresented in worldwide scale media, which obviously led to the question - what is up with the scene over there?
The release of Gerardo Sosa's new film, "Situación de Calle", was the perfect opportunity to catch up with an activist familiar with that very subject, and who also turned out to be more than keen to cover it for us, in this passionate 5W's!

LIVE Skateboard Media: Hi Gerardo! Who are you; may you please introduce yourself, your background in skating and where you’re from?

Gerardo Sosa: My name is Gerardo, I'm twenty-six years old and I'm from Guatemala City, Guatemala but have been living in Buenos Aires for the past seven years, traveling on and off and I'm now living in Santiago.
I don't have a background in skating, I'm just a huge fan of skateboarding and skate videos especially, so I came to a point in time in which I decided to start making my own.

Kliber Velasquez, Rafael Torres, Nolan Pantaleón, Joni Miño, Gerardo Sosa. Ph.: The Elusive Pedestrian
LSM: Why the urge of making a full-length Buenos Aires video at this point in time? How is the rest of the Argentinian skate scene looking like, do you feel like sharing some of its history with us (it’s heavily underrepresented in skate media), do a lot of people document skating there and under which forms? Any independent filmers from the area that have made full-lengths throughout time that you’d recommend?
How recent is the history of skateboarding in Argentina altogether - does it date back to decades ago and it’s just been widely ignored by the rest of the world that whole time (happens a lot in secluded areas, and we’ve covered the idea with Brazilian skater Sergio Santoro before that the language barrier might have a lot to do with it) or is it a relatively new phenomenon? 
Gerardo: The idea of making a full-length had been on my mind for a few years but it finally came together just now. I'm a big fan of showcasing underground talent and seeing all these people that rip, but have barely ever been filmed, definitely made me want to make something to showcase them.

"Latin American scenes are so underrepresented [because of]
the language barrier, and the fact that it is harder
for people to get access to cameras"

I feel like the Argentinian scene is one of the stronger scenes in Latin America, but it is still obviously underrepresented (coming from a country like Guatemala in which there is a very, very small scene). There are loads of skaters that rip but there are very few brands, filmers, photographers and media outlets to showcase them. Most people here film with their phones (including some brands as well) since everything is really expensive here, so it is way harder for someone to have access to a camera, limiting the amount of "legit" coverage that is put out.

Pono, backside ollie. Ph.: Gerardo Sosa
I also feel that there another issue that I see is that there is a large negligence to skaters that are foreigners. It is really hard for foreign skaters (although it can happen) to get coverage in local media outlets. I may not be the best to talk about Argentinian skate history since I'm a transplant, but I have done my research on videos, mags and talking to people and can tell you that skateboarding has been here since the eighties with a strong scene. I feel like it is a scene had been ignored since I've seen a lot of quality videos and magazines that are at least twenty years old.

"The talent is there,​
but it definitely could be even better if
there was more support in general"

Adding to that, there is also the fact that Argentina has had skaters like Diego Bucchieri and Milton Martinez who made it with U.S. companies, Tom Penny lived here for a few years and filmed a lot of stuff on the local spots too and the fact that there are usually a few clips (when not more) of them in most big name vids.

John Aquino, backside smith grind. Ph.: Gerardo Sosa
Some of the filmers that I like the most from the past are Ramiro Sciallo, who was the filmer for the Killanight crew, which is one of the heaviest crews in Argentina (with skaters like Paris Laurenti, Miguel Barrionuevo and Cristian Bica who are top pros over here) who made the Killanight videos. Ale Glikman who made "Respeta La Técnica" and Hernando Ramirez "Ñaño" of Asco. These were the videos that were coming out around when I was coming here, and it definitely blew my mind that people where making "local homie vids" of that caliber, especially out of a a place with basically a non-existent scene.

"I really like the idea of two people that skate differently
but still can skate the same spot,
each adding their own particular flavor to it"

Lately, there has been a resurgence of underground producers and videos coming out, which I think is hella dope. Dino Caraballo is a dude that is out there constantly skating and filming, he made a video called "Ahora!" and is working on a new one coming out in the next few months. My homie Isaac Gonzalez just premiered his video called "Vagabond" a few days ago which is all VX and has a lot of that really grimy, gritty street style (should be online eventually).

Tomás Alvarez. Ph.: Gerardo Sosa
I would say that the main reasons why Latin American scenes are so underrepresented in American and European skate media are the language barrier, and the fact that it is harder for people to get access to cameras, which limits the amount of possible coverage. 
LSM: Where exactly was « Situaciòn De Calle » filmed - is it all just Buenos Aires, or did you get around a bit? How did you involve the featured skateboarders in the process - did you think it out consciously and handpick them, or were you just stockpiling footage and whoever had clips had clips? How organic was the whole process? Any particular names you especially wanted to represent, or styles you wanted to shine some light on? Anybody you wish you could have gotten more footage of?
Gerardo: The video is mostly all Buenos Aires, with around four skate clips and a few inserts from Santiago.
I started out by filming the skaters I was skating with, then as the video started progressing, others approached me, and I approached others to film too.
The approach was mainly stockpiling footage; there were obviously tricks that were thought out but the approach was to go put and skate and film whatever we could.
The idea was not to showcase a particular style of skating but to show the diversity of skaters and the different approaches to skating. I really like the idea of two people that skate differently but still can skate the same spot, each adding their own particular flavor to it.

Mati Giorgi, car ride. Ph.: Gerardo Sosa
I really would have liked to film some clips of Francisco Penayo, who is a friend of mine who taught me a lot about filming and fucking rips, but it was really hard for us to get together to film due to life obligations, and he was also filming for "Vagabond". We did manage to go out and skate a few times but didn't really film anything, although you can see him in the inserts and B-roll in the video, since he was also present on a few of the sessions.
LSM: When was it that you decided to take it upon yourself to make a full-length video to represent Argentinian skateboarding - did something in particular in your brain click? Making web edits is one thing, going for the real deal is something else. Can you describe how you feel about the underrepresentation of Argentinian skateboarding in worldwide skate media in general - do you feel like it should be getting more mainstream attention and better treatment from the industry, or are you content with not having to deal with the excesses that come with that and retaining some purity in the scene? Is there anything special that you wished you could achieve with this project?  
Gerardo: I've always wanted to make a full-length video ever since I started filming. I had made a few other videos that were shorter and less elaborated, both in Guatemala and Argentina. As a fan of skateboard videos and seeing how the full-length is a dying breed, I felt even more motivated to actually work on something for a long time and actually take my time to edit and think things out.

"By looking into new scenes, you can get to see new spots,
tricks and approaches which can inspire you
to evolve and grow as a skater"

I originally came to Argentina to attend university and that came to an end last December, which left me in a point in my life where I had to decide on what my next step was going to be. So this video is also a homage to my time in Argentina, and the growth and personal development I felt during that time. But the main purpose of this video was to showcase all the underground talent; they are people who are out there ripping every day yet, for some reason(s), don't have the opportunity to get any exposure.

Nolan Pantaleón, frontside boardslide. Ph.: Gerardo Sosa
I would definitely like for people who put in work filming, skating, shooting photos etc... to get more recognition, because I know the hard work that goes into all of that and I feel the talent is there but it definitely could be even better if there was more support in general.
LSM: What would be the best gateway to Argentinian skate culture and history, and could you name a few reasons as to why foreigners should pay more attention to the local people and spots, and maybe go there in the flesh? And about yourself - any other video project in the future? 
Gerardo: I think people should be open to the fact that skateboarding is now a global activity, in which there are people skating at a high level in every part of the world; I think a true skater can understand and appreciate good skating, whether or not it's their style.
I think by looking into new scenes, you can get to see new spots, tricks and approaches which can inspire you to evolve and grow as a skater.

Nolan Pantaleón, frontside 50-50. Ph.: Gerardo Sosa
I know it's hard to watch every new video that comes out, especially with the amount of videos coming out everyday, but as an independent filmmaker myself, I definitely do try to watch stuff from places I've never seen or heard about - for that same reason. 
As for myself, I always try to be working on something, "Situación de Calle" is actually the second video I've made this year (the first being a video I made over a month-long stay in Guatemala), I recently moved to Chile so I definitely want to make a short video here by the end of the year, showcasing some of the Chilean rippers, to add another one to that list.
LSM: Thank you for your time and work, Gerardo!

Francisco Penayo & Mati Giorgi. Ph.: Gerardo Sosa


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