The stunning photographs of We Skate Hardcore reveal the determination, the dreams, and the rough and tumble story of urban Latino youth coming of age in New York City. Vincent Cianni spent eight years photographing and documenting a group of Latino in-line skaters in the Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Cianni weaves together images of the skaters with their own words, showing the the skaters' struggles to find a place to skate and build skate parks, and just to survive in the city. In the evacuated industrial spaces of their neighborhood, the skaters carve out places for enjoying their sport and showing off their skills - often thwarting established rules and authority figures in the process. Their stories are both personal and resonant; they reflect the trials and tenacity of a young urban culture, as well as life in Southside's Latino community. In addition to black and white and color photos, We Skate Hardcore includes a DVD with footage of the skaters featured in the book, as well as additional photographs and an essay.
We Skate Hardcore, with its verve and youthful energy, will especially appeal to photographers, those interested in urban studies and adolescence, New Yorkers, and in-line skaters and extreme sports enthusiasts everywhere.
"Chronicling young, mostly Latino people who used neighborhood parks and plazas to perfect their in-line skating moves... More than just cool action shots. The images portray how these teens climbed toward adulthood in a changing neighborhood's public spaces." --Time Out New York "Cianni's collection of photographs is an arresting look at a group of boys who embraced a dangerous sport and in the process of building their skate parks and learning new stunts, formed a tight-knit community of friends who looked out for each other and helped one another survive." --Brooklyn Paper "Vincent Cianni has published a gritty turbulent account of a group of Latino in-line skaters hanging out and rolling through the rugged Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, New York." --Photo District News "An evocative collection of black-and-white and full-color photographs captures the intriguing world of urban skaters, both in words and images." --Forecast "Think 'West Side Story' with skates." --Boston Sunday Globe "Thoughtful, timeless portraits. The book is beautifully designed." --Dallas Morning News "A visually compelling book- even at a glance." --After Image "The boys' playful, sometimes combative camaraderie and their constantly thwarted efforts to build and maintain a skate park give Cianni a narrative backbone around which he weaves a lively picture of the community as a whole. Because much of this story is told by the boys themselves, frequently in handwritten captions, We Skate Hardcore has a particularly vivid voice, but Cicnni matches it easily with his photos which combine fully engaged personal journalism with brotherly affection." --Photograph "Reveals a fascinating world of urban skaters." --NYU Today "[Cianni's] best pictures are full of the complicated pleasures of brotherhood, and remain as exciting as the moment they were made." --The New Yorker "An amazingly vivid documentary that runs the full gamut from exhilaration to devastation, and back. It's more exhilarating than not, though, because it is about how kids invent their own lives, whatever life has handed them." --Luc Sante "We Skate Hardcore points to a very hard reality. Cianni's photographs bear faces of an enduring working class, the people of "Los Sures" in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. You see their desire for life, family, home, and community, to move forward and become someone. You also see in these bold as well as intimate portraits, scenes, action shots, and still video sequences, the life, blood, spirit, conscience, pride, and zeal of young in-line skaters and their tribes." --Juan Sanchez, Hunter College"Short essays from Cianni, photographs, video stills and commentary from the skaters themselves combine in a visually stunning package that traces the lives of one group of friends with a passion for skating." -Photo Review