Colonial Surfer - The ReSearch is a project about the contemporary globalized world and power structures within the surf industry and its realm. Surfing is not just a sport but also culture, producer and distributor. In current discussions you hear about the post-colonial but the situation today is better described as neo-colonial. Surfers do travel a lot and sometimes to places unknown to other tourists. The way surfers behave and represent themselves in the adventures search of perfect waves has a lot in common with ancient colonizers and their roles. To surf maintain and conserve already existing structures. History.

Editor: Kristoffer Svenberg

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

HEROES "All we do is surf"

video 24 min

There are a large number of bars situated on the island of Bali. They are more or less fancy but it’s common in almost every one of them that they are screening surf movies. Not full feature films but flicks that are about waves and cool maneuvers while portraying sponsored surfers to sell the sport, the culture, and the products. As a kid, I grew up with those kinds of films, but then mostly on skateboarding and snowboarding as sports (or lifestyles). When being in Indonesia in a different economic situation and culture, than where I grew up in northern Europe, it got more obvious to me. I began to question the content in those films more direct. What are they really about?

When we do photograph the world we are also part of creating reality. And it is not as simple as that we are just mirroring our surroundings. The perspectives in those surf films I talk about are very unequal and the different roles people play in them are very fixed. Surfers are being portrayed as heroes more or less. Pictures shot from below that give them similar perspectives as strong conquerors in political propaganda. As well portrayed in the most playful manner in life, active and as beings without any problems or worries. On the contrary, the locals in the countries those surfers visit and exploit are being used as a kind of exotic spice. Sceneries and people are passing by in the films and the most important part they play seems to be about contrast. It is about creating the “other” in the exotic faraway country very "different" from our own reality.

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