I discovered parkour a few years ago in Moscow, Russia. I was immediately drawn to the non-competitive nature of it and its open, supportive community. The curiosity, imagination, conquering of fear, and desire to get better at movement are the key elements of the sport. When I started shooting parkour in different countries, I realized that there were very few females amongst mostly male traceurs. Were girls just naturally more fearful and less physical? Or did they succumb to social restrictions and moral policing at an earlier age? Were they uncomfortable with training alongside young males because they were ashamed to not be able to rise to the same level of physical ability and fitness? What is different about the women who practice parkour from the rest of us? This project seeks the answers to some of these questions by focusing on parkour communities and female athletes across Russia, United States, and Canada; on the women who did not lose their curiosity and desire to explore the physical world and push their personal limits. After all, parkour is not about being better than someone else, but being better than your previous self.
For more parkour-based work by Anya, visit parkourproject.com
Photographs © Anya Chibis
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