Jesus, I roll with Thee

Video_Jesus This video is produced and posted online by someone who identifies as a ‘Christian’ and a ‘skate/snowboarder’ in Finland. The overall purpose of the video is to illustrate and document the testing of a new camera while longboarding. The length of the video is 1.47 minutes. In addition to the moving images of riding a board and electro music used as a soundtrack, other socio-cultural meanings are expressed by gestural, visual and linguistic means in the video. Right at the end of the video, the longboarder stops and shows the underside of his deck which has an image of Christ on a skateboard and the phrase “Jesus, I roll with Thee” printed on it.

In general, self-made videos play an important role in skateboarding communities. Digital technologies provide users with opportunities for self-presentation and performances of their cultural affiliations and aspects of identity. In this case, the affordances provided by the video format as a semiotic mode are used creatively to entail new meanings into the longboarder’s performance. English is used to introduce the video to the wider longboarding community, while the strategic linkage of Christianity to the cultural practices of longboarding, by way of displaying the board with religious imagery and an inventive slogan, is specifically meant to highlight the identity-related aspects of the longboarder.

All in all, the contrast created by the mundane activity of longboarding and the reference to the Christian identity of the longboarder serves to introduce multiple socio-cultural voices, values and ideologies in the video.

© Saija Peuronen