Slacklining is the art and sport of walking on narrow piece of webbing (flat rope), reminiscent of tightrope walking. Compared to tightropes, though, slacklines are looser, stretchier, and much more dynamic creating a very different experience. Basic slacklining consists of simply walking along a length of webbing, with beginner lines starting at about 20 feet long and just high enough to keep from touching the ground while walking. Highlining is an advanced form of slacklining where the webbing is anchored at heights between cliffs, buildings, and other structures.
So how does walking on a piece of webbing change the world?
Slacklining has an incredible ability to connect people. Standing on a shaking piece of webbing, laughing at the difficulty of walking a straight line, holding the hand of a new friend opens us up to each other. Highlining is an inherently striking art form and never fails to start a conversation.
Crossing Lines started as a highlining project, using the striking visuals of highlining to create a new conversation about Iran and the U.S. We’re continuing this project with a second trip to Iran in 2017 and planning more international highline festivals in the Middle East and elsewhere to connect people through highlining and film.
Now we’re adding on a second project to Crossing Lines. We’ve seen slacklining help people find new communities, escape unhealthy lifestyles, and dramatically change their lives. We believe slacklining can be a powerful tool to help refugees integrate into their new communities, build relationships, and learn the local languages in a playful environment. Perhaps more importantly, we believe slacklining can also help the local community to connect with refugees outside of headlines and news reports.