“Why I’m leading a snowboard mission to Iran” by Vanessa Beucher

A couple of weeks ago we spoke to Easkey Britton about her extraordinary surf adventures in Iran. And now we’ve heard about some female snowboarders planning a shred mission to Iran. We asked team spokeswoman Vanessa Beucher (above) to give us the lowdown

What attracted you and the team to the idea of snowboarding in Iran?

Iran is a closed and hence fascinating region of the world. It has always been associated with problematic issues -religion, nuclear power, women- and the international media never talk about Iran with a positive point of view. On top of that, very few people know that there are big mountains in Iran, and that people ski there. The idea is to go there to explore these relatively unknown regions and share the experience of the different riders involved and give a voice to the people living there, especially the female Iranian riders but not just them.

Your film project is especially interesting as I watched Easkey Britton’s (below holding yellow board) surfing Iran film Into the sea recently. Have you seen it? 

No, I haven’t seen it yet unfortunately but Marion Poizeau the filmmaker, who is also involved with ‘Waves of Freedom’ in Iran, told me about it as we met two weeks ago in Biarritz during the Women in Boardsports conference. For the project in Iran, there will be both a photo project with an article to be released in different publications – my job is as a photographer, editor & translator – but there will also be a film project together with the Swiss guys from Cause. I think it will be very interesting to have the two types of support, we can say a lot & reach different media platforms. And also, we will try to connect it in the media with Marion’s work about surfing there so it can really be interesting in terms of boardsports.

Into the Sea features the Iranian snowboarder Mona Seraji (above, far left and below) who is also associated with your project, how did you meet her?

I have not met Mona for real yet but thanks to the magic of the internet, we are already connected and exchange messages. First of all, Arnaud Cottet, a Swiss rider who is one of the guys behind ‘We Ride in Iran’, told me about Mona, who is now one of the leading ladies of the Iranian snowboard scene. He knows her really well now after his many trips to Iran over the last few years. He said she would be the ideal person to meet and she would introduce her to a bunch of other great girls. Estelle also knows Mona as she was part of a trip to Iran last winter with Arnaud and other guys. So I’m really excited to meet her now!

Do you plan to wear snow-specific hijabs or will goggles and beanies leave you sufficiently covered up?

I talked about that with Arnaud when we met in Switzerland this summer. The way women dress over there is a very sensitive issue but surprisingly, the mountains is a relative space of freedom compared with other places like the capital Tehran. The police are not omnipresent, women still have to be covered of course but helmets, beanies and googles are enough. The rest of the time, we will surely have to wear a veil on our heads. But it will be fine.


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