New Research: Skateboarding, Activism & Social Change

Image: White text on black background ‘Skateboarding and Social Justice: Activism, Power and Change’ and author details, publisher Palgrave Macmillan and submission due date of 2021. Publication date will be in 2022.

New book and website in development: ‘Skateboarding and Social Justice: Activism, Power and Change’ by Indigo Willing and Anthony Pappalardo with art/illustrations by Adam Abada.

Research for the above project is being conducted throughout 2021. The research team will be reviewing historical archives and contemporary sources, such as magazines, skate videos and social media. The team will also be conducting interviews with a number of individuals in skateboarding, from those working in the industry, community programs, brands, non profits and individuals from skating’s DIY and local subcultural scenes.  

The research project will be the basis of a book (with Palgrave Macmillan) and with extra interviews, art, stories and information shared on a website, social media and other publications in the process. The project aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of change makers, grassroots and DIY activism, ethics and social equity movements in skateboarding.  While stage one is focused on the USA, individuals and social movements/projects in other locations will be acknowledged where relevant, and hopefully included in future stages.

Participation may consist of a questionnaire, or 30-60 minute face to face online interview (via zoom for eg) or email interview, and is subject to a selection criteria and informed consent. This project has ethical clearance from Griffith University, Australia – GU ref no: 2021/066.

As this is a low budget, community-grounded project, there is generally no payment for participation. However, selected interviewees will receive a special thank you gift such as a skate art print by Adam Abada (New York), a special ‘curb art’ print by Sarah Huston (Australia/LA), whimsical art from the @werewolfcatsskating zine or stickers from community campaigns like Consent is Rad (international).

Black and white sketch of skater and text saying Know your Stance, and Stop Asian Hate
Stop Asian Hate, Know Your Stance art by @adamabadaart
Curb art by Sarah Huston in red, yellow and black saying 'slow down, adults skating', 'drive like your parents skate here', and mock traffick signs design.
Curb art post cards by @thesarahhuston
Consent is Rad text on black skateboard sticker
Sticker from @consent_is_rad design by RT Signs Chinchilla

If you would like to know more about this project please email Dr Indigo Willing (Writer, Community Work, Sociologist and Research Fellow, Griffith University, Australia) and Anthony Pappalardo (Journalist, Author and Independent Researcher, USA) using the Contact Page Form