Anairam de Leon
Taking full advantage of Rio de Janeiro’s colorful streetscapes, Anairam’s aesthetic is characterized by warm hues and bright pops of color. A skateboarder for fourteen years and a photographer for seven, Anairam combines these two passions to give visibility to female skaters. Together with the women’s skateboarding collective, Britney’s Crew, she’s on a mission to promote the bond between girls and empower them.
What’s the story behind the women’s skate collective, Britney’s Crew? How did it begin?
It all started when Rayane Oliveira came to Rio in 2016 and brought her video camera. Thayná had given her the nickname “Britney” because she looked like a character from a comedy show on Brazilian TV.
Ray got the girls back together to film and everything turned out so great that it became a video. At the time of choosing the video’s name, they didn’t think twice—“Britney’s Crew – Hell Trip”. And so, one of the biggest female skate collectives in Brazil was started.
How would you describe a normal skate session with Britney’s Crew?
The sessions with the Britney’s are always the best vibes. It has really become a big skateboarding family and at the sessions you can feel the energy of girls who skate for the fun of it and support and encourage each other.
Can we expect a full length Britney’s Crew clip in the future?
Well, at the moment we have a lack of equipment but it’s in our heart to make a Britney’s video. I would say yes, we will come out with something in the future, but it’s coming out slowly!
How has the skate scene in Rio de Janeiro changed in the fourteen years you have been skating?
When I started skating there weren’t really girls around. I was the only girl, skating with boys. Of course there was a strong generation before mine, including Luciana Ellington and other girls that did a lot for the scene at the time. When I started skating, Luciana was in America with Check It Out Magazine and the other girls disappeared, I guess. But I see the female scene getting so big now, so many girls are skating and they’re killing it! And now I feel that the girls are doing more by themselves. I mean, they’re not waiting for things to happen, girls are making it happen! And this is so empowering!
What do you photograph when you’re not shooting skate photos?
I also like to shoot street style and lifestyle photos.
Brazil has produced so many great skaters. Is it something in the water? What makes Brazilians so good on a board?
Yes, it’s the magical water from the Amazon Rainforest! Haha, just kidding.
No, what really happens, in my opinion, is that in Brazil, we don’t have so many perfect skate spots. Usually the floor is bad, or cracked, and the same happens with the skate parks, so skaters need to be persistent and creative to skate here.