Urban Exploration With Vans Skate Team

There’s only one way to conquer a derelict urban landscape. And it’s on skates.

Eight years after the 2004 Games, the Olympic Village in Athens lies abandoned. With its vast empty stadiums, deserted walkways and ruined monuments, it’s a painful symbol of turn of the century excess for a country wallowing in the depths of a five-year recession. It also happens to be something of a skateboarder’s dream.

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This makes for some pretty cool photos too, as these exclusive images show. They’re the result of a collaboration between Vans Skate Team and creative duo Freddie Fraser Forsyth and Will Robson Scott. Travelling around Europe this year they enlisted the help of urban explorers to find derelict buildings for them to skate in. Also pictured are photos of the skaters venturing into a war torn hotel resort on the coast of Dubrovnik, and there’s an accompanying film series of the project due out in December.

It’s a natural move for Freddie and Will, who are no strangers to documenting urban subcultures. They’re also the creative brains behind Crack & Shine, the book and film series that delves into the underground world of graffiti artists. The new series Crack & Shine International is out now, and you can watch it here.

Words by Stephanie Soh