Giorgi Balkhamishvili belongs to this young breed of skateboarders that no longer need skate mags or full length videos to express their skating – they gain popularity by themselves just by utilizing their smartphone in the right way (which might be old news to you because you already saw it on Insta). Well, it still is an exception that it actually works as good as it did for @giorgi_armani, who right now has remarkable 12.8k followers on Instagram. Because of his quality output, he caught the attention of Brad Staba, who eventually put him on Skate Mental. Without a doubt, things are going pretty well for Giorgi. Nevertheless, we were able to convince him to do an old-school print interview – and he committed to the old-school way to the fullest. With his best mate Paul Röhrs, he shot the entire thing on film. For all you kids out there that don’t know what we’re talking about: That’s like using filters on Instagram – just handmade. And now get ready to throw the dice together with Civilist’s finest Alex Flach.
The Zementwerk stands defiantly amid the mountains. With stubborn ugliness, it looms over the small village that is made out of houses fenced in by wooden lattices. Its days were numbered long ago, yet it still stands its ground as a gutted ruin and ultimately can’t help but just stand on the sidelines and watch how an anarchic squad makes its way inside, into its soul, in order to do mischief to the product that it was giving birth to for decades.
[Supported by Volcom & Leica]
Kyron Davis has a small sad face tattooed on his belly (and no, there’s no connection to Polar whatsoever). A buddy just went at it and that’s what he got out of it. “We just planned to doodle on my body. There’s lots of people that I let doodle all over me,” Ky explains as if it would be the most natural thing in the world. This exemplifies the way he approaches life in general: he takes it easy and doesn’t need to know from the beginning of the day what will happen in the evening. It’s not like he’s walking around aimlessly, but he leaves enough space for the things to develop on their own till everything seems to come together naturally – in which way whatsoever. Just as it happened during our first day of our trip to London when a buddy wrote ISIS (besides other stuff like a heartagram) on Kyron’s board with a permanent Sharpie. Not funny to him at all. Understandable, especially when you know that his crew stumbled across Ignacio Echeverría a couple of hours before the terrorist attacks – where the Spaniard lost his life. So they turned it into “My life is in CrISIS”. To be honest, that is actually a total misrepresentation of the present life the 22-year-old is leading, which just hit its peak since he recently got on Numbers. However, it sadly proved to be somewhat prophetic for the upcoming days in which – despite the good times we were having – reality always caught up to us with a bang.
Without a doubt, the Love Park in Philadelphia was one of the most iconic skate spots ever. Legends were born there, history was made, and thousands of stories happened. Most of it is more than well documented. But the story that Jonathan Rentschler tells in his Paradigm published photo book LOVE is a different one. With a very precise eye, he documented the last years of the spot – till it’s final destruction after a long fight – in raw, expressive black and white pictures. Thereby, he visualizes urban life in a place where highly diverse individuals ran into each other – partly got together, partly acted against each other. He shows the unbreakable solidarity of a group of outlaws and their resistance against a martially acting, repressive authority. Shows the unwillingness to give up and the determination to continue in any wind and weather. He describes the persistence on staying at a place which got devoured by the city administration like a body, formerly full of life, from vultures – till nothing remained. A place the locals kept faith with till the end like with a beloved Person. This story is not just about skateboarding. It’s about LOVE.
Benjamin Deberdt – Same Camera, Same Film
Not many photographers were in front of the Eiffel Tower at the break of dawn to shoot pictures of the Gonz messing around with the circle board – however, Benjamin Deberdt did exactly that. After all, he is a grand seigneur of European skateboard photography and also the founder of both Sugar and Pause skate mag, was Co-editor-in-chief of Kingpin for many years, and started the website Live Skateboard Media as well. Even at age 45, he is still passionate about being in the streets and shooting skate photos – maybe now even more than ever before. Nevertheless, the equipment of the analog enthusiast has always stayed the same – only his motives have gotten more and more refined over time.
Sidewalk Surfing – L.A. Days with Polar