Storyteller — An Interview With Norma Ibarra

Intro & Interview by José Vadi
Photography by Norma Ibarra

Photographer Norma Ibarra left her hometown of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico in 2009 and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia — a few blocks away from Antisocial Skateshop in 2015. She started skating and became obsessed. Norma transferred her lifelong photography passion into contributions to the burgeoning The Skate Witches collective-turned-zine and volunteering for nonprofits like Skate Like a Girl. Self-funded skate trips turned into official invites from brands to document the worldwide sessions. Few have captured so many unique skate scenes around the world in so little time as Norma, who has a keen eye for showcasing skateboarding as a conversation with the cities and communities that house every trick.

Norma’s energy and passion for her work was palpable during our recent phone call, where we talked about photographer etiquette, hoarding clothes, and why growing your own food can help your skating.

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Why An Academic Skateboard Conference?

Words by Adam Abada
Photography by Norma Ibarra & Michael Worful

“Huh.”

That’s what I heard each time I told anyone, skaters or otherwise, that I was traveling to Sweden for an academic skateboarding conference.

“I didn’t know that was even a thing.”

It’s the second one, actually. I skipped last year’s in London, not wanting to commit to a trans-Atlantic flight for something that definitely had the potential to fall flat. But, when media started trickling back from Bartlett School of Architecture, which hosted the inaugural Pushing Boarders, I knew I would not make the same mistake next time around. Once I heard Malmö, Sweden — arguably the world’s most progressive skate city — was chosen as Pushing Boarders’ next destination, I booked a ticket. Then I spent six months trying to convince someone to come with me.

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