- Text by Hannah Bailey
- Photography by Header image: Hamish Duncan / Photography: Hannah Bailey
It comes as a surprise to many when I tell them that earlier this month I attended an academic conference on skateboarding. “I didn’t know they had those,” being the most common response.
Three years ago, a group consisting of Thom Callan-Riley of University College London, Sander Holsgens of Reverb Skateboarding, Stuart McClure of Long Live Southbank, Osh Tammas of Skateism, and Theo Krish and Charlie Davis of SkatePal, had the idea to bring together academics, journalists, and skaters for an annual conference exploring skate culture.
Last year that idea became a reality with Pushing Boarders making its debut in London. The team didn’t know what to expect, it was all an experiment and a work in progress, but following its success, the skating symposium went global. With the support of Gustav Eden, Skate Malmö, Bryggeriet and The Skateroom, the skating-hotbed of Malmö played host to the conference this year with the spotlight being shone on mental health in the community.
The Pushing Boarders crew set the standard high in London, and at this year’s conference in Malmö, curated panels on heritage, media, gender, sexuality, urban design and more, got people thinking and more importantly talking. Art historian and skater, Ted Barrow, sums it up nicely when he describes Pushing Boarders as the “best fucking conference”, so we asked some other attendees to sum up what they found so special about the weekend’s events too.