Southall is an Extreme Sport

Southall is an Extreme Sport

What comes to mind when you think about extreme sports? Surfing? Skating boarding? BMXing? 

For me, the real and only extreme sport worth talking about is the story of immigration. Literally moving from one country to the other, is like riding a 100 foot wave. From "the donkey route" some have taken to get here, or in the boats, "illegally", or the struggle to live, to breathe, to get by. Just like my Big Dad, with a "fiver in his pocket", and no clue where to start life or how to make ends meet, life as an immigrant, that is the only extreme sport I could ever relate to.

Because guess what? Skating, Surfing, BMX-ing, Skiing, aren't exactly high priority skills to learn or enjoy when you are a person of colour, and forced to flee your homeland because of war, politics, colonialism and poverty. So extreme sports are just sports. They are also just a privilege. They are not accessible. So in my exhibition I give everyday objects a twist, to tell my story, and create something relatable to my heritage and roots.

For instance my mum was always ironing. How we looked was important to her, she dressed us in the best clothes, she made her own, she even ironed the socks sometimes, but it's because she was passionate about making us look the part. She had no time to surf, she just about had time to watch Zee TV. So I use the ironing board to represent a surf board. Something relatable in the Punjabi house I grew up in.

My dad couldn't afford to play on a skateboard, he had to open his shop the next day. We are working class, he worked hard, but he worked long. When he did get time to relax, out the Carrom board came. So I turned the carrom board, into a skateboard. Again, Something relatable in an Indian household I grew up in.

I did this to reference our culture and our roots, but also to show the reality of the immigrant experience, so often my family were working, all hours of the day, to make ends meet and give us everything they didn't have. They had no time for play. Or maybe they chose not to play. I don't know….

Southall is an Extreme sport.

And being an Immigrant is an Extreme sport.

See more about the story of Extreme Sports on our Instagram page.

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