A Documentary about Skateboarding and Creativity
WeCanFly started production in October 2016. The aim of the project: to investigate how and why skateboarders seem to be inherently creative people?
As the project evolved it began to take a more ethnographic approach; transforming it into a cultural exploration. It became a study of a truly amazing subculture whose ideologies centre around the notion of freedom and creativity.
WeCanFly became a film about more than just the act of creating an art-form and skateboarding. It is about how a group of people's set of cultural values and philosophies transpire into what they create both on the board and their arts
WeCanFly was released in August 2017, show casing firstly at Doomed Gallery in London and then at The Adhoc Creative hub in Vienna in October 2017. The film is also available in an interactive context on this website.
WeCanFly's Director Kelli Watson is a
Lecturer at a College of Further Education
in the South East of England and aims
to use her studies to support the positive reinforcement of skateboarding as a
means of developing resilience, independence and creativity.
WeCanFly2 was launched on 7th August 2018. This film took on a more academic approach and investigates whether the productivity, autonomy and resilience that skateboarders demonstrate on the board can be harnessed within an educational context to develop teaching and learning methods for disenfranchised young people?
WeCanFly3 was launched on 8th August 2019 and focuses on how skateboarding and the creative pursuits that surround it can impact on mental health and well-being. Due to the sensitive nature of the content of this film it is not available online. We hope to spread the word about how skateboarding and art can support well-being by taking this film on tour.
The Future for WeCanFly as a project is exciting: Sara Prinsloo (WeCanFly3 Artist), Alex Barton (Owner of Lariat skate shop. St Albans) and Kelli have a side project called ‘The Skateboarding Academy’. Our aim is to use creative workshops alongside skateboarding sessions to encourage perseverance, self-esteem and resilience in young people who may struggle with these things. Ultimately we would like to start up an alternative education provider aimed at offering skateboarding as part of a wider creative curriculum but getting funding for a project like this is very difficult. Kelli is currently working on WeCanFly 4 which follows 3 young skater artist who are studying further education and are overcoming various mental health, behaviour and financial issues. We investigate whether skateboarding and art makes them better learners and also if the 'one size fits all' approach of mainstream education in the UK has an impact on these young peoples ability to be able to practice the methods of learning that skateboarding and art enable. Alongside this Kelli is also working with her local skate park – The Pioneer in St Albans to raise the profile of the creativity that is coming out of our local skate scene. We aim to create and distribute a zine including art, poetry, photography and song lyrics from the skateboarders who skate at the park. On top of this Kelli has just started running an Open Mic / Skate Jam night whereby we combine skateboarding and local musical talent (including skateboarders who both skate and perform), this happens bi-monthly at The Pioneer skatepark.
In short, the future aim of WeCanFly is to become more than just a series of documentaries. We hope that it becomes a vessel to show case the creative art movement that skateboarding encompasses.