by Marcus Leach
Something a little different this week from our KickStarter project focus as we bring you an incredible story from Afghanistan, a country one might not instantly associate with cycling.
The Project: Afghan Cycles
What Is It: Afghan Cycles is a film about 12 brave women that dare to ride on the Women’s National Cycling Team of Afghanistan
The Brains: Sarah Menzies is a videographer and filmmaker, and the founder of production company LET MEDIA. The company is very much focused on genuine storytelling, centred around environmental issues, social justice, and engagement.
In-Depth: The bicycle is a commonly used metaphor for change and freedom – wheels in motion, self powered movement, pedalling a revolution. No where is this truer than in Afghanistan today as the Women’s National Cycling Team begins to take shape.
Cycling is the last taboo for women in Afghanistan, women do not ride bikes. It is considered offensive and much like the women that dared to ride their bikes in petticoats in the late 1800's - the stigma of immorality and promiscuity is hard to push past. But also like America, where the bike was intrinsically linked with the women's suffrage movement, it could be a vehicle for change in Afghanistan.
This unique film will follow these women through their practice sessions, riding the backroads and highways outside of Kabul. It will also give an intimate look at their lives when they're not on their bikes, documenting their lifestyles, home life, and their role as a woman in the male-dominated country. Their passion and bravery is empowering to women internationally, while challenging gender barriers and setting an example to Afghan women at home.
Target: We are pleased to say that 208 backers ensured that the target of $10,000 was achieved, and we now await what should be a truly inspiring film.
However, if you can't wait for the movie and want to stay up-to-date with its progress give the team a follow on Twitter.
Picture courtesy of Afghan Cycles