Easkey Britton in Iran


TEACHING WOMEN TO SURF IN IRAN
Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The"Waves of Freedom" project seeks expansion: In 2010, we travelled to Iran with Easkey Britton, an Irish professional athlete and women’s champion who practices the sport synonymous with freedom: surfing.

The welcome was surprising. The locals were very enthusiastic to see surfing for the first time in this part of Iran.

Covered from head to toe with a hijab made from lycra, Easkey became the one of the few, if not the first woman to surf in the Islamic Republic of Iran. At the end of our trip, the Iranian people asked if we would come back to teach surfing.

Iran is not a country known for its surf-exposed coastline. On our first visit, however, we discovered the place to surf is in the province of Baluchistan, the poorest region of Iran and also one of the most traditional. This is a part of Iran that doesn’t feature highly in any travel guides, let alone the surf magazines.

Sport has an important place in the social life of Iranians and in the towns and parks, we saw women participating in sport as well as men. But in a less developed and more rural region such as Baluchistan the weight of tradition and religion was more present.

We have therefore decided to return to teach surfing in Baluchistan to Iranian sports women and share our passion for sport together. Surfing in particular is an activity that is strongly associated with the sense of freedom it gives those who do it.

We want to explore the potential surfing has to offer this sense of freedom in a place like Iran were freedoms can be restricted, where access to the surf is limited, especially for women who must stay covered even in the water. Through learning a new sport we will try to understand the difficulties and issues that these women face and the importance of sport in their lives.

This documentary develops the concept of ‘Waves of freedom’, as energy waves which form both in the ocean to create waves that can be surfed and also sound waves created by song and music. Both are often considered by those whose passion is music and/or surfing as powerful, creative forms of self-expression and freedom. Therefore, as well as sport, we would like to understand the potential for women to express themselves through music and song-writing.

The documentary explores if sport and art could prove to be the means for women to experience greater freedom




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