Fussballaballa is a non-commercial public viewing format for the neighbourhood, which shows the matches of major football events accompanied by a discursive programme before, during and after the game. The 2019 edition of Fussballaballa was centered around the Women’s World Cup in France. In a series of four events with film screenings, conversation rounds and interactive happenings, it questioned ideas of the body and identity, looked at ways in which sports brings people from diverse national and social backgrounds together, and celebrated women’s football in all its aspects.
In almost all types of sports, women and men are separated – but is this distinction really as “natural” as it is made to seem? Through a screening of “Too Fast to be a Women”, a documentary film about Caster Semenya, a South-African runner whose sex is questioned because of her speed, the notion of ownership over gender identity is sports was examined.
Football = Encounter
Sports can bring people of different backgrounds together, who might never have met if not on the field. Through a series of short films, the Berlin-based initiative Champions ohne Grenzen presented how football offers a platform to welcome refugees, while Fan.Tastic Female introduced their European community of female football supporters.
The Fight for the Ball
Even though women have been playing football for a long time, they still receive significantly less recognition than their male colleagues. A multimedia installation presented significant moments in the historical development of women’s football, framed by an informal discussion with Berlin-based initiatives Gesellschaftsspiele e. V. and Kampagne Berliner Sport – Rund um Fair.
The final was accompanied by a celebratory event as part of ZK/U’s monthly community market. A curated karaoke programme featuring iconic female artists from the participating countries invited viewers onto the stage. Jan van Esch’s “Drag it Yourself” participatory installation explored the notion of drag as a performative action inherent to any type of costume – sports uniform included.
Listen to a conversation with the curatorial team in this podcast by Andrew Wilson.
Fussballaballa is a format developed by and for ZK/U Center for Art and Urbanistics. This edition took place between June 8th and July 7th 2019, and was realized with the kind support of the Coordination Department for Communal Development Politics and the Equal Opportunities Commissioner of District Berlin-Mitte.