In every generation, youth culture finds its own mode of expression. In modern day Morocco that zeitgeist is being expressed as creativity through motion. Calisthenics, though ancient in history, has adopted a new freestyle form which is gaining momentum with a dedicated youth following worldwide.
‘Journey to the Blue City’ takes us on journey away from the sleek, self-conscious, mirrored world of inner city gyms, and anchors us bare-footed, on the raw, dusty and gritty streets of Casablanca. It is a celebration of the culture, with all its determination, simplicity of vision and creativity.
In calisthenics the entire world is your playground.
Like the origins of skateboarding in the 70s, the culture of calisthenics was born organically in the streets i.e groups of kids collectively perfecting their craft, with the aspiration of social recognition. What could be seen as a positive movement in personal development is being tainting as antisocial behaviour due to the lack of support and awareness by local authorities. Just as the kids of Dogtown would break into empty swimming pools to skate in, the street-workout teams organise sessions in toddler playgrounds, due to the lack of free outdoor equipment.
‘Journey to The Blue City’ aims to show the other side of the picture. It tells a story of how empowerment at the high bar can bring people together from all backgrounds, regardless of ethnicity, race and age. It shows the world how calisthenics can be used to contribute towards unity and socially integration in all levels of society, particularly in an urban environment.
This book is a snapshot of the culture before the world caught on.
Life’s twists and turns brought the Kashmirwala brothers to the shores of Casablanca, Morocco. It was there, in a local park, they encountered a group of kids on the high bars. For Ibrahim, it was the striking imagery struck a chord, whilst for Fahd it was a real sense of community that resonated with him. Along with a dedicated group of calisthenic youth, they embarked on a journey of empowerment and self-discovery. Together they set out to highlight the art of calisthenics by putting it on a blue pedestal i.e the blue city of Chefchaouen.
‘Journey to the Blue City’ is a first hand account of how the brothers experienced being part of this community. Driven by their passion for the ancient art of Calisthenics, the book tells an up-lifting tale of a brotherhood born from a unified destination, as it explores the birth of a community from the playgrounds of Casablanca to the peaks of the Chaoen mountain range.
Kashmirwala is a duo comprising of; Ibrahim Ahmed, a photographer by passion and art director by trade, and brother Fahd Ahmed, a writer and sociologist by heart with an underlying passion vested in Calisthenics. Their ethos is to work with inspiring individuals on creative projects that have a positive social impact.