Thom: A Portrait of Modern Youth

Thom is a 19 year-old from the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland, mid-way down the east coast of Australia. He’s also the subject of Riley Blakeway’s eponymous, debut biopic film embedded above. Like a lot of films that capture the essence of Australian culture, there’s an underlying and at times depressing sense of sparseness and futility – a sense that in fact, the portrait of Australian youth in many senses, is much the same as it ever was.

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Hobo Daze: The Lords of Shenzhen

Vagabond Skateboards brought together their team to meet up with local skaters from Shenzhen and spend a day cruising through the Cantonese country side.

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We All Want to Be Young in China

“We All Want To Be Young in China” is a video I concepted/directed for enovate (edited by Giuseppe Farina). It’s a 3-minute crash course on the evolution of contemporary youth culture in China. I really hope it inspires young people in China and educates those outside China on some of the influences on this increasingly important and ever changing consumer group.

Those in China sans VPN can view it here.

The video was inspired by the popular online video from Box1824 called “We All Want To Be Young”.

China [Youth Culture] Outlook

My mate Nick‘s thoughts in words and images, on the state of China’s youth culture. Review to follow. But for now, gedditindaya.

It’s been a couple months in the making, and I couldn’t be happier to release it for all to read. Filled with text and photos, the China Outlook dishes up some much-needed insight into the evolving youth culture of Mainland China. Keeping with THE PUSH SHOVE’s penchants, this publication focuses predominantly on developments in Chinese sub-cultures, and is organized into four areas:

  • Youth culture beyond Shanghai and Beijing
  • The expanding underground music scene
  • 2011 the year of Action Sports
  • The Virtual – Actual Network

[via The Push Shove]

19 Year-old Zach Wahls on Gay Marriage

Yesterday, was the first day in the court hearing addressing the proposed ban of gay marriage in Iowa, which has been legal in the state since 2009. I’d challenge anyone to make a more compelling case for the legalisation of gay marriage than 19 year-old University of Iowa student Zach Wahls did in his impressive 3-minute testimony.

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Spike Jonze: Most Epic Skateboarding Film Ever

So it seems I’ve been a little bit swept-up by skateboarding films lately and I haven’t even been seeking them out. I haven’t got much to say about this one. I’ll sum it up for you in a few words.

Spike Jonze, Ty Evans and Cory Weincheque direct ”Lakai Fully Flared”. The most epic skateboarding trailer I’ve ever seen. Aside from the tricks. But who’s watching them anyway. This trailer would still be epic if they used Justin Bieber on the soundtrack.

Just watch it.

Converse Skate Film “Ni” 逆

The idea and the resources behind this film gave it a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the execution was lacking something: in the narrative, the message and the (skateboarding) tricks.
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Shanghai 5: Skateboarding Documentary

Shanghai 5 is a documentary of the development of the the city’s skate culture and their on-going love affair with it’s dreamy urban architecture. The debut screening was held at The Source, back in early December and I really wish I could have made it along. Late or not Shanghai 5 deserves to be written about. More after the jump.

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China’s Youngest Skater + World’s Biggest Skate Park

Yesterday Mattias and I rode our bikes to the outskirts of Shanghai to check out the world’s largest skate park (‘SMP International Skate Park‘). We ran into seven year-old Xiao He, comfortably dropping-in and rolling around the various banks, hips, fun boxes, rails, ledges and hubbas. He told us he’d been skating for one year. For me it was further evidence of a growing mainstream acceptance of alternative sports and sub-cultural movements like skateboarding, fixed-gear cycling, punk, indie music, urban art and sneaker culture. After all, his parents had to buy the equipment and drive him to the skate park every weekend for the past year.

Shots of Xiao He in action after the jump.

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Li-Ning: Running with Nike + Adidas

A hilarious new video spot from Chinese athletic company Li-Ning. According to chinaSMACK, a number of Chinese sites are predicting Chinese expats in the US to take offence. But I think, if anyone, it’s the mainstream American population who are most like to take offence. See for yourself below.

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Little Punk: China’s Answer to SoKo

Shanghai lofi indie-folker, Little Punk has just dropped her sophomore album, Hey guy, you are big time alright. and it’s well worth a listen. Now.

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The Ugly Side of Youth Culture

Gay, straight, bi-sexual, whatever you are, you need to watch this. It’s not something that many youth trend/culture blogs like to talk about, which is one reason I’m posting it here.

Youth suicide is the third highest cause of death amongst 15-24 year-olds globally, exceeded only by “Accidents” and “Assaults”.

The key to change doesn’t lie in censorship or even reportage. It’s a responsibility that should be shouldered by ‘soap operas’ (ie. popular culture).

(via)

Patrick Seabase: Motor-paced Cycling

Brand new video from Switzerland’s Patrick Seabase (former pro skater and sponsored track bike rider). Great to see him spending a lot more time on the bike these days. He was the driving force behind the recently defunct GOrilla bicycle company and currently working on a number of his own projects. Stay tuned to his new blog for updates.

Motor-paced training refers to act of riding very close behind a van or motorcycle (with the rider providing the windbreak) and using the slipstream to reach speeds of up to 100km/h. It’s one of the toughest cycling sessions a rider can do. As you’ll see in the video, Patrick reaches 83km/h on on his carbon track bike.

Update: Tips on Motor-paced training. And some beautiful still shots from Ian White.

Nick Peden: Images of Contemporary China

Here’s a selection of really interesting images from Nick Peden. Nick recently returned to Shanghai, after a research adventure through greater China, focusing on youth culture in the country’s second-tier cities. These images remind me why I love living in this part of the world.

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9 Ways to Improve the Lifelounge Youth Trends Report

Recently, I was contacted on Twitter (along with a few others) and offered a report containing “research on 16-30 y.o tastes in music, sport, fashion, entertainment”. The Urban Market Research (UMR) report is a collaboration between Lifelounge and Sweeney Research. But the question is, “Do we need another trend report?” Here’s nine ways Lifelounge and Sweeney Research can improve their UMR.

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Indie India: What’s the fuss about? (Pt. 2)

Read Part 1 of this series: “Indie India: ‘Early Influencers’

This is the second post in a three-part series, reporting on Mumbai’s independent music scene today and offering some commentary on the challenges facing India’s emerging music industry.

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Indie India: “Early Influencers” (Pt. 1)

This post is the first in a short series detailing my learnings in India.

For the last decade, indie music has been battling for a credible presence in India’s first-tier cities, like Mumbai. Despite some media outlets prematurely breaking the shell of an ‘Indian indie scene’ sometime ago, Mumbai’s music community has continued pipping its way into an internationally recognised industry. Now, though still teething, there are very few who would refute India’s emergence onto the world’s independent music stage. Earlier this month, I spent two weeks embedded in Mumbai researching what’s really going on. Starting with the Nokia Music Connects conference [review to follow], I couch-hopped across the island-city from gigs to gurus, receiving a unique musical and cultural education, and uncovering a surprising trail of Australian musos in the process.

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CNNGo Mumbai: Shaa’ir + Func

A profile on Mumbai’s most popular indie music act, Shaa’ir + Func, and their contribution to the city’s emerging music community –published on CNNGo. More images from Shaa’ir + Func’s live show here.

Bangalore Youth: More in Common with NYC than Rural India?

“My fundamental belief is that people across the globe are more alike than dis-similar. My belief is there’s a global youth culture, where a youth in India has more in common with youth in NY than with people from rural India.”

Joseph Tripodi, Chief Marketing & Commercial Officer, The Coca-Cola Company.

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Who Are The Favourite Bands of China’s Youth?

Bands China Youth Like

BBC Radio 4 correspondent, Rajan Datar, went to a recent gig at one of Beijing’s major live houses and asked a handful of Chinese youth to name their favourite bands. Their responses were varying combinations of the acts listed below.

Oasis, Joy Division, Lady Gaga, Rolling Stones, Ting Tings, Tom Waits, Blur, Johnny Thunders, Ramones, Smashing Pumpkins, Suede, Radiohead, The Doors, Iggy Pop, Sex Pistols.

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Article (link): The Breakdown of Tribal Borders

Flickr Photo Download: The Breakdown of Tribal Borders (MEDIA Magazine)
(via @NeochaEDGE)

The article above discusses insights into the failures of marketing efforts targeting China’s Youth, and recommendations moving forward. Finally, hard numbers to prove that youth don’t have to belong to one tribe. In fact, the study cited in the article above suggests that Chinese youth dip in and out of a number of different sub-cultural tribes simultaneously.

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