Tadros Eyob’s Journey to Promote Inclusivity in Climbing and Bouldering
Tadros Eyob, a first-generation Eritrean immigrant, grew up in Calgary and later found himself captivated by the outdoor wonders and climbing opportunities in Vancouver. However, he couldn’t help but notice the lack of diversity within the climbing and bouldering community, despite the city’s multicultural nature. Determined to change the narrative, Eyob drew inspiration from the 2020 documentary film “Black Ice” and embarked on his own journey to create a short documentary, “Kid Rock,” which aims to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to explore adventure sports like bouldering. Premiering at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, Eyob’s film seeks to redefine the notion of who can participate in these activities.
A Lack of Representation in Adventure Sports
Eyob, now 27, expressed his sense of isolation as one of the few people of color in the climbing and bouldering community. Despite Vancouver’s multiculturalism, he often found himself feeling like the only person of color in the room. Eyob believes that representation is crucial in inspiring individuals from diverse backgrounds to pursue adventure sports. Witnessing others who look like oneself achieve great feats can be a powerful motivator, as Eyob experienced firsthand.
The Inspiration Behind “Kid Rock”
The catalyst for Eyob’s endeavor was the documentary film “Black Ice,” released in 2020. The film chronicles the journey of a group of aspiring climbers venturing into the mountains of Montana. Eyob was deeply moved by the sight of numerous Black individuals trying ice climbing for the first time. The emotional impact of the film drove him to tears and sparked a desire to create his own documentary that would challenge stereotypes and encourage inclusivity in adventure sports.
“Kid Rock” and Its Message of Inclusivity
“Kid Rock,” co-directed by Eyob and his friend Leroy Hirkala-Maarhuis, documents Eyob’s personal journey as he fearlessly scales massive boulders without ropes or harnesses. The film’s central message is simple yet powerful: climbing is cool, and everyone should have the opportunity to experience it. By showcasing Eyob’s passion and skill, “Kid Rock” aims to break down barriers and inspire individuals from all backgrounds to embrace the joy of outdoor adventures.
A Nostalgic Approach to Filmmaking
To capture the essence of his climbing experiences, Eyob and Hirkala-Maarhuis chose to shoot “Kid Rock” entirely using Mini DV handheld camcorders. This decision was driven by a desire to evoke a sense of nostalgia, reminiscent of family videos. The filmmakers aimed to maintain an intimate and heartfelt atmosphere throughout the documentary, ensuring that viewers could connect with Eyob’s journey on a personal level.
Promoting Accessibility through Volunteering
In addition to his filmmaking endeavors, Eyob also volunteers for Balancing Act, a program that provides free outdoor climbing workshops for historically marginalized groups. Founded by Benjamin Fenton, Balancing Act seeks to make climbing more accessible for 2SLGBTQA+ and BIPOC individuals. Fenton, who is featured in “Kid Rock,” believes that initiatives like Balancing Act play a vital role in breaking down barriers and fostering inclusivity within the adventure sports community.
Tadros Eyob’s short documentary, “Kid Rock,” is poised to make a significant impact on the adventure sports community. By highlighting his own journey and promoting diversity in climbing and bouldering, Eyob hopes to inspire individuals from all backgrounds to embrace the thrill of outdoor exploration. Through his film, Eyob challenges the prevailing lack of representation and encourages a more inclusive approach to adventure sports. “Kid Rock” serves as a reminder that climbing is not limited to a specific demographic but is a pursuit that should be accessible to all who seek the joy and beauty of nature’s challenges. As Eyob’s film premieres at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, it is poised to ignite a conversation about diversity and representation within the adventure sports world.