The Feeling: A Short Film
Skate culture, though prevalent all over the world, still carries an air of mystique. That’s no different here in New Haven especially during the summer when skaters take to the streets. Groups of people convene to practice tricks, show off their latest deck, or tag some new art on the half pipes. Contrary to popular belief, skaters aren’t just misfists and outcasts trying to stick it to the man (though that is a large part of its origin). Skateboarding is a space for artists, athletes, and anybody really wanting to express themselves in a way that crosses cultural and artistic boundaries.
J. Joseph created The Feeling to truly capture the essence of skateboarding and its culture here in New Haven. Being that this city is also predominantly Black, it’s especially important to show the diversity in skateboarding. For Black residents and other residents of color, there aren’t many people in mainstream skateboarding who look like them. It’s not an easy to be the first of anything but this position gets particularly tricky when it’s seemingly outside of cultural norms to participate.
Joseph takes us around the city showcasing the skills of various skateboarders as they grind rails and execute sick kick flips from staircases of government buildings. Familiar faces we’ve seen cruising through downtown New Haven tear it up through our historic neighborhoods and share moments of camaraderie. They cheer each other on, stop at the park to shoot some hoops for a moment before getting back to the grind. The history of skateboarding in New Haven may not be long but it is rich and continues to grow. This film is a great vignette into the movers, shakers, and skaters of the Elm City. Make sure you check out The Feeling on Vimeo and join me next week as I dive deeper with some of the OG skaters in New Haven who are not only passing down skills but are solidifying a foundation of representation and community.