As the inclusion of skateboarding in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic will for many people provide their first exposure to the sport, To Balance is Trust seeks to intercept the competitive and controlled media portrayal of this international subculture. Instead, the photo series seeks to place the narrative back in the hands of skateboarders through portraits and stories, and to shine the light on the real faces of female and non-binary skateboarders, to show us what skateboarding means to them.
The series travels to the home of the Olympics, Athens, Greece to meet with Denia Kopita, a talented skater and online manager of diversity skate magazine Skateism. It travels to Haverfordwest, Wales, to meet WCMX champion Lily Rice who is pushing to make skateparks more accessible. And it features skaters part of the Melanin Skate Gals and Pals crew who are working to empower the BIPOC community to skate and be seen. As well as young Scottish skaters, Rudi and Mac, and professional London-based skateboarder, Helena Long. All these skaters and riders are pushing the lesser-seen side of skateboarding in order to make it more accessible to all, to show it is something for everyone.
“To Balance is Trust aims to enlarge the visibility of the niche and underground side of this subculture, which exists all around the world, from South Korea to Scotland,” explains photographer Hannah Bailey. “By doing this, I aim to champion these inspirational, underexposed skateboarders as role models for people to be inspired by and society to learn from.”
You can find the full photo series, along with the stories of each of the personalities, here.