Mom. No. We’re not going to the market. I’m not going in. They don’t have anything I like. I’m hungry now and none of that food is ready. I don’t care if it’s on the way. Why can’t you just take me home and then come back?
Mom. Look at me. It’s called consent. Ever heard of it? I said no.
Because! It’s cold in the market and I don’t have a sweater. Mom! You’re not even looking at me. I can’t go in there and I’m not waiting in the car. My phone is dead and your stupid charger has the old iphone chord.
My time is so valuable. You don’t get it. You have so much time. What do you even do? Like what do you do when I’m in my room? Why can’t you go to the market then? You always do this just because you want to spend time with me. I hate spending time.
Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich created the non-profit Skateistan in 2007, a grassroots project that connects youth and education through skateboarding in Afghanistan. The organization, which has since grown to an award-winning international NGO, caught the attention of London-based photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson and inspired her to visit the program in Kabul in 2012—especially after learning 45% of the students were female.
In Afghanistan, skateboarding has spread to become the number one sport for women, as they are forbidden to ride bicycles. Soon after arriving and entering the girl’s world, Fulford-Dobson was accepted by the young Afghan skateboarders. She photographed the girls with natural light, helping to expose their personalities through simple portraits. Within the images you can see the girls’ natural confidence, images that capture the subjects both posed and candidly skating through the indoor facility.
“I met so many impressive women and girls in Afghanistan: a teacher as tough and determined as any…
Hey. You know how guys always get together to watch porn and masturbate?
Do you ever do that? Like, not rubbing up on each other, but just watching porn at the same time?
Well, I stayed at James’s house Friday night and I slept late Saturday morning. That’s what happens when my mom isn’t there to wake me up at 8.
So anyway I got up at like 10 or 10:30 and James mom was gone, because she’s always gone. But James was in the living room with his cousins and they were all jerking off to a MILF porn. They were like “hey Donny,” but they didn’t really look up at me. I was still pretty asleep and I didn’t know what to do because I was starting to get hard, but I also wanted breakfast.
I decided I was more hungry than horny so I went to get some cereal. It was kinda hard to enjoy my breakfast because there’s not really a door between the kitchen and the living room so I could see and hear everything.
I was just eating, kind of out of it because I was still waking up and I guess I looked like I was staring because all the sudden, James’ cousin Brian, who’s a total dick, was like “yo Donny what the fuck? Why are you staring at us?” Then he told James I was a perv.
Everyone looked at James, you know, to see what he would say, but he wasn’t even paying attention because he was about to come. And then he did. So we all saw James come and now everyone thinks it’s my fault.
Desiree showed up ready to jump in. I knew she would, but it’s always a nice surprise when someone is as excited about something as you are. Her husband, Reidar took their 17-month-old son Fox for a walk. The next time they would see her, she’d be covered in paint. We were all curious how Fox would react. Des kissed them both goodbye and turned to me. “Should I just get naked?” she asked, pulling off her shirt. Like I said, she was ready.
My dad photographed this session, our first collaboration for the Body Joy Project, but one of thousands of collaborations we’ve done throughout my life. I guess for me there’s no separation between hanging out with my dad and creating with my dad.
Des and I laughed and talked the whole time I painted her. We got caught up on each other’s lives. We’ve been friends since we were 15, but have each traveled, grown, and gone our own ways. We talked about friends who we no longer see, our families, our art, and our bodies.
I asked Desiree to tell me about what it’s like to be her, in her body. In her words:
My relationship with my body like everyone else’s is a complex one. It has changed so much over the years. I love my body. I love it even more now that I am a mother. Now that I have baby Fox I look at my body in a totally different way. I am amazed by all of its natural functions… the nurturing and feeding of another human being from ones own body is a trip!!!!
Not to say I don’t have those moments where I forget everything I have accomplished in this last year, look in the mirror and go eeeeewwwwwww!
I may not always like the way my body looks right now, but I respect it and love it for everything that it is and does for my family and myself.
Painting Desiree was an incredible way for me to reconnect with an old friend and get to see her now, in a new way. I loved it and am in awe of the beautiful photos my dad took.
Here is Desiree’s response to the experience of being painted:
Being painted by you was very grounding; I was so excited that I didn’t even think about the intimacy until I was there. Then I had a moment of wow!!! You were so gentle and sweet, your ability to be so close; to see every detail of me and not have an ounce of judgment in your being is so special. You made me feel beautiful, you made me look beautiful and I am so grateful!!!
I had just finished painting Des when we heard a knock at the door and it slowly opened. Here is Desiree looking at Reidar and Fox:
I have known Jacob Evans for two years, since he was a student in my Advanced Spanish Language class. He exhibited signs of excellence at sixteen and has since matured into a man of stunning intellectual strength. He came to Claremont High with a rare curiosity for life that has only blossomed over time.
In class, his readings of Pablo Neruda’s poetry were subtle, insightful and the way the r’s roll off of Mr Evans’ tongue left little to the imagination when it came to his work ethic. In one of his papers, he wrote about the historical significance of the burrito in a way that showed he grasped the cultural depth of Mexico. He also exhibited great creative strength. For one assignment, he mimed the entire Mexican Revolution, leaving his classmates sighing “Dios mio.” At the end of the semester, his musical presentation of La Cucaracha helped the class understand the beauty of the Spanish language in a way I’ve never been able.
Since that time, Mr Evans has made several trips to both Tijuana and Rosarito beach. Will his zest for life and appreciation of the Mexican culture never cease?! These trips have turned Mr Evans into a well-traveled man, who will no doubt be taking college by storm.
Personally, I find Jacob Evans to be an honest, well-built, charismatic person, whose self-motivation and solid form are admired by peers and supervisors alike. I strongly recommend him, and I am happy to provide photos or more details if you wish.
Oh man Danny, I can’t believe I live in Cleveland. There are like zero Latinas here. You know, they try, but no other kind of girl gets my attention quite like a Latina. I know I’m married, but I’m so unhappy. I’m so tired of American women. It’s like they just want me to eat breakfast and go to work and make sure the kids are buckled up. I get it!
I’m ready for something new. I’ve always heard good things about foreign women… Is it true? I need to know. What is Daniela? She looks like a lot of stuff mixed together. But she’s definitely got some Latina. I can tell by how she makes me feel. Don’t worry I’m not going after your girl. But where can I get one like that?
I’m not trying to be shallow. But, I do have kinda high standards. I’m looking for the sexy, voluptuous type. Like a young Salma Hayek type would be nice. There’s this one teacher at Megan’s school that I got my eye on. She’s got the accent and everything. She does that thing where I get turned on when she gets mad. I’ve been trying to get something started with her, but my family basically ruined that. They get in the way of everything I want.