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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!

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. 

Squad Up / Paris / GALERIE

The Paris Snipes Squad Up took off last Friday, under the form of qualifiers based on the completion of a variety of challenges (sometimes skateboarding-related, sometimes not) scattered throughout the City of Lights, during which close to thirty crews from all over Europe met up to try and earn one of the sixteen top spots and thereby make it into the finals, which went down the Saturday. Those were at République, on many skatable obstacles that were set up just for the event and LIVE's Instagram video recap of the day can be watched here. Eventually, it is the Man Dem Crew that ended up taking first place; a wild herd consisting in Vincent Milou, Tryone O'Hanrahan and Amiel Kornicki, all now stronger of some prize money and even more general acknowledgement from their peers.

A day captured in still pictures by Adrian Rios and Dennis Scholz.

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!

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 !

Switch Big Spin / Stefan Janoski

U.S.-based professional skateboarder Stefan Janoski's popularity blew up in the mid naughts, subsequently to a switch flip rampage over, across and down literally any set of stairs he would find on his way. In two thousand nine, he picks a simple and uncluttered silhouette for his pro model shoe on Nike SB; now, fast forward to just a few years later and said shoe is established as an all-time best seller in skate footwear.
 
"How does a skate shoe gain iconic status?" is only a logical question to ponder upon the witnessing of such an explosive destiny. To try and address it, the French Big Spin Podcast crew went and interviewed pro skaters, designers, a fashion theorizer as well as Stefan himself - all streamable in English. And in the usual fashion, here is the complementary Bigger Spin article for even more info!

Josh Pall / Interview

If Josh Pall's name isn't without ringing a bell to you, it's probably not because you're associating it with the latest social media 'story' of that one guy puking his guts out on the streets last night, nor because you can still recite the entirety of the contents of his latest box from his jeans sponsor that he just opened in front of a crowd of Snapchat strangers. In fact Josh is more of the discreet type, who might as well just show up unexpected and tear a spot apart - a skate tendency exemplified in the (quality) Pass~Port video offerings.

Indeed, Josh skates fast - too fast for one to scrutinize over his haircut in a clip - and that's regardless of how rugged said spot it, as he'll still come up with a quirky utilization for it, and charge towards it via more pushes than most. Keeping skateboarding impeccable!

As a continuation from yesterday's video post comprising the clip celebrating an immiment Carhartt x Pass~Port collection, here's some words we got to exchange with Josh, just in time for its launch in Paris, tomorrow.

VANS Thursday Sessions / WEEK 2 / REPORT

You might have heard about the #VansThursdaySessions before, as we already dropped a recap of their first installment, here on this very website. Well, the second one just occured, over the course of not just one Thursday but two, due to persisting, unfortunate weather conditions across France - and its skateshops - those past weeks. Well, eventually the line-up did get a wee bit shaken up regardless but globally, those sessions still turned out to be a success all around!

Elijah Berle / INTERVIEW

The Elijah Berle Pro Shoe is a new model now available from Vans that's got everything to do with the eponymous skateboarder. For those who need to catch up, Elijah also recently made the switch from Chocolate Skateboards to Fucking Awesome, Jason Dill and Anthony Van Engelen's company, and appeared in the latest Supreme video (always instant classics, regardless of one's taste), despite having been incapacitated for a while by injuries. A hectic schedule Elijah himself was nice enough to find some time to cover for us, for you, below!

Bigger Spin / EP 015 - David Manaud

Finally, the Bigger Spin is back! The hard-hitting (as far as sweet info goes) complement to French skateboarding podcast Big Spin, punctuating each new episode as to illustrate the guest's words with still and moving pictures, plus various useful links. And the guest on the latest season two, episode three of Big Spin just so happens to be, this time, a name that should be familiar to the French scene: David Manaud, a longtime activist from the region of Bordeaux, albeit mostly on the cosier side of the lens. A renowned skate photographer whose works have been printed in magazines aplenty throughout the past decade, David's schedule also comprises the role of the team manager for DC Shoes, and his past the one of a witness of miracles authored over the years by the likes of Tom Penny, Bastien Salabanzi, or the local Jean-Philippe Trioulier (who once had a mislabeled switch kickflip shifty in a TransWorld Magazine 'check out'), Leo Valls, Guillaume Dulout, Ben Chadourne... Needless to say, David is quite experienced with managing skateboarders, making for a background he just covered in full in the aforementioned Big Spin episode - which we are, in turn, covering now - smooth!

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