"This Is Our Playground" Skateboarding, diy Aesthetics, and Apache Sovereignty in Dustinn Craig's 4wheelwarpony In his 2008 experimental film 4wheelwarpony filmmaker Dustinn Craig (Apache/Navajo) combines the punk and do-it-yourself (diy) aesthetics of skateboarding with family and tribal history to assert an expressive politics of Apache resilience. Using archival images, still and motion picture photography, animation, reenactments, and graphic art, Craig documents his own immersion in youth skateboarding culture in the Whiteriver community of the Fort Apache Reservation in Arizona and links several generations of Apache skateboarders with their nineteenth-century ancestors. In addition to the film's documentary work recording successive cohorts of skaters, Craig also develops the symbolic potential of skateboards to serve as vehicles for performative and graphic historical storytelling. 4wheelwarpony intervenes in the larger mediascape as well as its off-screen community by supporting the construction of skate parks at Whiteriver; creating ceremony for young men through costumed reenactment and skate contests; and, ultimately, envisioning skateboarding as a means for reestablishing social systems of Apache masculinity, coming of age, and intergenerational nurture. The film and its production perform these many kinds of self-determination by bringing together the diy ethic of punk and skateboarding, independent film production practices, and
Western American Literature – The Western Literature Association
Published: May 10, 2014
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