The bicycle is a commonly used metaphor for change and freedom – wheels in motion, self powered movement, pedaling 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.
Our film will follow these women through their practice sessions, riding the backroads and highways outside of Kabul. We'll also get 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.
This will be a 15-20 minute film. From seeing the team ripping it on their road bikes to looking closely at their position as women in Afghanistan, the film uses cycling as a tool of empowerment for women worldwide.
As Susan B Anthony declared in 1896, "The bicycle has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives a woman a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. The moment she takes her seat she knows she can't get into harm unless she gets off her bicycle, and away she goes, the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood."
What you’re supporting
By backing this project, you are supporting the pre-production and production costs that are needed to create Afghan Cycles. Because of you, we’ll be able to cover our expenses of getting to Afghanistan, budget for fixers and translators once we’re there, enabling us to get the cameras rolling and take the first step in telling this inspiring story.
This is a LET MEDIA production, directed by filmmaker Sarah Menzies. Whitney Conner Clapper of Side of the Road Sessions is joining the team as the Co-Director, bringing a strong background in both marketing and women’s studies. The Producer of the film is founder of Mountain2Mountain Shannon Galpin, who has spent the last 5 years working with women and children in Afghanistan, and was the first and so far only woman to mountain bike in Afghanistan. She was nominated as a 2013 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year for her humanitarian work in Afghanistan.
Big thanks to Platypus for providing SoftBottles as a reward. The flexible bottle packs down making for convenient hydration when you're traveling.
Risks and challenges
We are keeping a close eye on security in Afghanistan at the moment. In the event we are not able to travel there in the time period we hope to, then the money we raise here will be used to get us there at a later time when we are able to travel. Your support goes directly into the production in Afghanistan, and will be applied when we are able to get there safely.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)