Meet Brujas, NYC’s Newest Streetwear Skateboarding Collective With a Feminist Mission, 9/25/2017 by Brett Berk, Billboard
Brujas is a diverse and radical feminist youth skateboarding collective from New York’s Bronx and Lower East Side. It was founded three years ago by a group of young women to reclaim space from the white/male dominated skater culture that slighted them. (The name means Witches, in Spanish.) But at heart, the Brujas mission has always been empowerment, education, and community outreach.
“We’re trying to integrate a lot of different elements in the Brujas project,” says Ariana Gil, a musician and recent graduate of Oberlin College and one of the group’s founders. “We’re intellectuals, we love critical theory. We’re fashion-heads, we love streetwear. And then, you know, we’re also trying to build a participatory community model.”
“If you look at the logo on the shirts, there is a school burning on the top of it,” says Robin Giordani, a recent Cooper Union graduate and the group’s lead designer. “And underneath, there’s these two hands and the ‘Each One Teach One’ on the bottom. It’s about this exchange of knowledge through this very classic gesture, like a pound or a dap that you might give somebody in the street or passing by. That we can do the same thing with education and be able to take what we have and our own knowledge, and share it and have that come back two-fold.”
If it sounds heady, that’s because it very intentionally is. “We’re very influenced by the French philosopher Michel Foucault, who, in his text Discipline and Punish, draws connections between prison, the school, and the hospital,” says Gil. “So, just moving down the Foucauldian line is how we’ve been talking about it.”