Two months ago, most of the world was just beginning to learn how devastating the COVID-19 pandemic would be to our health and daily life. In true silver-lining fashion, many skaters daydreamed about the myriad possibilities that the crisis would present: empty plazas; open schoolyards (school’s out… forever?); and police with much, much bigger fish to fry. However, the reality is way more stark than the excitement of having a global playground. Skating’s camaraderie is a major catalyst in what makes it so addictive and enjoyable, but if no one is around does your banger even make a sound?
In Europe, which has endured a strict lockdown, there are signs of skaters taking to the streets again. Inspired by Russell Houghten’s 2014 ‘Urban Isolation,’ which took the top prize in our REDirect contest and had a massive resurgence on YouTube recently, ‘Silent City’ is Ready Freddy Go (aka “Fred”)’s selfie-filmed part, shot over a few days in March, in line with Germany’s social distancing restrictions. Themes of loneliness and isolation are explored, and it’s quietly beautiful—watch it above.
In France, Victor Cascarigny demonstrates what you can do with only a water bottle as your filmer. He hangs loose in Toulouse, while he follows every social distancing/quarantine rule to the letter in ‘Brief One Hour Sesh, Within 1km Radius Of Home.’
And, below, the prophetic, six-year-old inspiration for this next wave of video parts, Houghten’s epic ‘Urban Isolation.’ Be careful what you wish for.