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Summit of the Non-Aligned / 5W's!

Skateboarding has definitely been seeing the flourishing of independent happenings, as though a form of natural resistance to mass culture by its most sincerely devoted enthusiasts. As the official 2019 program for the ninth (!) edition of the Croatian Vladimir Film Festival just dropped, in Belgrade, the Summit of the Non-Aligned is just about to start (from today on, till September 15th), and as expected from passionate people whose communication is more akin to sponataneous expression than malign marketing, it probably wouldn't have caught the attention of a wider scale audience if it hadn't been for word of mouth from acquainted artists who linked us up (i.e. Glen Fox and Nez Pez). Five minutes later and a phone call was in order...
 
Check out the Summit's website and Instagram feed, and enjoy the interview below, with activist David Soda.

"Polygone" / Florent Theron / GALLERY

Consciousness of the urban space has to be a hot topic this day: amongst many other things, LIVE has told you about the Bordeaux, France-based project "PLAY" before and, recently, Ocean Howell even reconciled with his first love long enough for a few talks at the recent Pushing Boarders in Malmö (as well as a three-sixty kickflip).

If the fruit of such considerations is only now blooming here and there throughout the surface of the globe in apparently a rather simultaneous manner, that's only because it's been nurtured underground by the skateboarders' perpetual frustration regarding the inadequacies of the established society with the reality of their practice of choice - for a long, long time.

In Nice, France, Florent Theron has been working on "Polygone" for over a year already; a personal project that he eventually materialized in fanzine form, for the lack of an additional, better-suited dimension. Oddly enough, despite both projects being completely disconnected at the root, Florent's interpretation of the skatable structure shares sensibilities with Leo and Nicolas' take on the subject with "PLAY": the obstacle is summarized to its most basic geometrical shape (in this case, three triangles), and primary colors that inspire a Mondrianesque cognitive deciphering.

Images aplenty were captured by Fred Schwal, and then laid out on paper by Florent himself, strong of his Le Huit experience as he is. Let's hand him the mic for a sec.

PREMIERE / "Abyssal" / José Francisco / INTERVIEW

As our feed thus far this summer can attest, skate production has been booming in Brazil recently - or so it may seem to the foes most unfamiliar with anything but the tip of that exotic iceberg. As discussed in our recent interview with young Rio De Janeiro local, Sergio Santoro, in reality, the energy stemming from the entire - massive - country is actually timeless, and strong of as many personifications as it has engendered individual, local scenes throughout the decades. It really should be a given that, like most everywhere even remotely skatable on the planet, Brazil always bred generations worth of locally renowned legends and tales and yet, to this day the language barrier can still persist when it comes to exporting such sunshine overseas - prompting many to summarize "Brazilian skateboarding" just to #slidesandgrinds and the occasional holidays trip video upload, for the lack of more accessible information, accurate orientation and generally easier access to the reality of the insiders' culture.
 
Now, the topic isn't without being reminiscent of a wider debate within skateboarding and its most emotionally involved enthusiasts altogether; despite pop culture having swallowed the image of the activity whole over the past two decades, essentially reappropriating it for mass branding purposes (with the positive side effect of potentially introducing some of its magic to many a new kid), who's to say that skateboarding no longer belongs to those who are actually doing it? Who's to say that worldwide validation and unicorn lives matter, when secluded communities grow so strong by themselves that the dimension of their existence alone suffices to render the whole idea of serious competition in skateboarding as invalid as a mere joke?
 
But now, validation and recognition are two different things. Whilst the former is delusional, the latter is all about duly paying tribute to the most interesting local productions and crazy activists behind them, opening borders, gaining perspectives and building bridges over trenches. In today's case, with the presentation of "ABYSSAL", said trenches are as rough and rugged as the average LIVE reader should expect by now if they have been following our incessant stream of Brazilian e-postcards. The film is by José Francisco, based in Anápolis and participant in the eponymous multimedia collective; and it is now free to watch above but before you do go peep, make sure you keep scrolling a bit further down, for an intense 5W's session with quite the sincere video maker!

Théo Moga x Hugo Bernatas / PREMIERE

French Vendôme native, Lyon-based Hugo Bernatas is a prolific, independent skate filmer who regularly floods this or that online channel with his productions, and has been for a long time already. 

His new output is a web clip featuring a young Théo Moga whose skateboarding you might already have caught a glimpse of, recently, in "B(ee)r", the independent full-length video from Montpellier by Bastien Regeste (arguably the closest equivalent to "Fully Flared" in this country and time).

Now here, in the span of two black-and-white minutes, Théo reinterprets some of the most classic spots the capital of Gaul is timelessly notorious for putting on display, and of course makes sure to tune them to the tone of the latest update of iOS that day. And Hugo tells us more...

 

Sergio Santoro / INTERVIEW / "Original Rocker" / PREMIERE

About the Sergio Santoro phenomenon; well, its greatest strength has to be that it speaks for itself, as both the character and his skating style have been making an Internet sensation for quite a few years now - as though a testimony to how genuine passion is bound to keep overflowing over time, all the while transcending geographical and language barriers. Sergio's skating is quite unique, a logical consequence of growing up in an era allowing possible peeks and picks into a worldwide array of inspirations, resulting in a trick repertoire and body language that transcends fashion. But all the transcending aside, one verb that's frequently a part of Sergio's expressed delivery (as the interview below can attest) is "exploring"; really, Sergio is but an artless, curious mind with genuine appreciation for everything positive in life, and an aura that's bound to absorb you the second he pops off a smile.

Whilst he's actually out there casually scoring crazy Instagram points to the point of catching the attention of the Californian economic elite, and many of his own people love him to the point of developing expectations, Sergio's primarily consideration seems to remain skateboarding every day and appreciating every single second of just that; thereby shattering many potential preconceived opinions regarding e-fame, or impulses of territoriality. Sergio knows that neither him, nor the Brazil scene has to prove anything to the world; so below, we discussed ways to spread awareness about its incessant, quality local productions of all kinds, the unique styles present there but also throughout the world, the language barrier with non-Portuguese speaking countries and much more.

The heart knows no borders and who better than Sergio to represent sincere dedication over any other arbitrary construction of the mind. Hoping that the sunshine Sergio radiates conveys in words, LIVE is thankful and honored to present the first Sergio Santoro interview for a European magazine and therefore, a non-Portuguese speaking audience.

VANS THURSDAY SESSIONS 2019 / PREMIERE

Summing up three months worth of local video clips produced by about ten French skateshops for this year's Vans Thursday Sessions into a three-minute-tops capsule was definitely no easy task, but we tried! LIVE had to pick and choose amongst a seemingly endless stream of footage; and now, this is our video recap, closing a series of articles that's already recapped weeks onetwothree and four of the program with - hopefully - close care for the works of the local activists. Consequently, the aforementioned articles are full of local full-length videos and unique styles, crafts and potential connections; with a truckload of images of some of the most insane, completely unknown skate spots the country has to offer.

Overall, the entire operation has been a success both in terms of recreation and production! You can stay connected with Vans on Instagram here, and with LIVE here for everything that's next; many thanks to Vans Europe and everybody who joined in - shops, skaters, filmers, photographers and all of 'em crazy folks.

VANS Thursday Sessions / WEEK 4 / REPORT

It all went down last Thursday for some French skateshops from all over the country, or the previous Thursday for some others, due to the heat wave; but now it's done and eventually, the 2019 French Vans Thursday Sessions have come to a close, after a fourth installment involving many a local activist, product distributor, filmer, photographer, skateboarder - people who more often than not are just as anonymous as they are hyperactive.

The recaps for each former edition are respectively and chronologically to be found herehere and here!

But what's relevant to our interests right here, right now, is the whole lot of new clips, photos and other fresh news the people has produced; namely the ones of ABS Annecy and Grenoble, la familia Bud SkateshopNDJ in Nantes, Shifty in Dijon, Okla in Toulouse and Wall Street in Lyon. 

"LOST" in London / PREMIERE

LIVE has shared South London-based filmer James 'D.J.' Davidson's independent productions in the past; namely "Shmara" - immortalizing an army of Russian skateboarders overtaking Shanghai the most noble way they know how. The editing was catchy, punchy and the utilization of the VX-1000 D.J. claims to love as far as in his personal Instagram handle, wisely optimized.

It has now been two years since D.J. returned back home from China, during which he didn't go without filming, or traveling. His new audiovisual offering, "Lost", is the eventual representation of that timespan, consisting in footage captured out of pure feel, resulting in a kaleidoscopic display of fragmented skate moments as D.J. himself explored more of his own existence and the world, as he even made it as far as Paris in his search for new directions, new thrills and new socks from Carrefour.

Existential doubts, maybe; an original and genuinely brillant video as a direct result, that's for sure. The author put a lot of himself into the craft of this little time capsule, which can really be felt.

Follow D.J. on YouTube, ici !

Bigger Spin / EP 016 - Jérémie Daclin

Jérémie Daclin is another of those names anyone even remotely familiar with skateboarding and its scene (not just French, but global) should be familiar with, along with the classic style and character he's commonly associated with. Notably the founder of Cliché Skateboards then Film Trucks, he contributed to put Europe on the map back when it was still foreign to a California-centric perspective, and had the clue to sponsor certain undeniable talents such as Lucas Puig, Jan Kliewer or Pontus Alv at key moments, in between various trips of the unprecedented type and constant displays of effort to help the general status of the French sponsored skater gain in credibility.

Jérémie was recently the guest on the French skate podcast Big Spin by Sébastien Charlot and Arnaud Dedieu; an opportunity for him to cover his background as a skateboarder, then as an entrepreneur. His adventure started out with the skateshop All Access, then Cliché in 1997 and Film in 2018. Throughout those experiences, G.G. remembers and recounts many a trip, encounter, clip and industry-related matter: collaborating with photographers, managing a team, skating with Mark Gonzales, witnessing ups and downs and keeping skating fun past forty years young.

The French audio of the interview is available above and now, here's the complementary Bigger Spin article on LIVE - business as usual!

Snipes Squad Up Paris / ARTICLE

So what are you up to, this Friday, July 5th?

In Paris, Snipes is coming through with Squad Up: a street contest of sorts consisting in teams handling challenges (mostly but not exclusively of the skateboarding kind), throughout the entire city, in a style reminiscent of Thrasher's notorious King Of The Road.

Switch Big Spin / Skatedads

"Skatedads", LIVE vous en a déjà touché un mot au moment du Bigger Spin de Stéphane Larance, ou encore sur Instagram à l'occasion des expositions éponymes de Benjamin Deberdt, en collaboration avec la marque parisienne Leroy République. Le concept s'attarde en profondeur sur le parcours de skateurs français de longue date devenus papas, et leur rapport hors du commun avec leurs enfants devenus skateurs, ou skateuses, puisque la pérennité de la culture le permet désormais - à une échelle grandissante.

Ce nouvel épisode du podcast du skate français Big Spin, par Sébastien Charlot et Arnaud Dedieu, est dédié à cet axe de recherche ; l'occasion d'interviewer Franck Barattiero, Toni Brossard, Ben Aurélien, Sébastien Daurel, Jean-Marc Druesne, leur progéniture respective, au sujet d'une passion commune et des bénéfices de sa transmission intergénérationnelle !

Et comme d'habitude, le Bigger Spin vient se poser en complément, à nouveau en Switch !

VANS Thursday Sessions / WEEK 3 / REPORT

Similarly to the second one, this third installment in the series of the French Vans Thursday Sessions was seemingly cursed by poor weather conditions, thereby driving each shop to conduct the event on separate Thursdays, accordingly. Skateboarding nonetheless won again in the end, as many great times were had, content aplenty was produced, tricks were landed and soles resembled waffles. As usual, here's the report of each and every of those individual sessions, highlighting the drive and importance of local scenes, now, on LIVE!

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