Football Afrika

The World Cup has ended and Sepp Blatter has disappeared with FIFA’s billions nicely tucked away somewhere in Europe. The debt to South Africa remains to be calculated but I imagine it to be a huge one. I wonder how much of FIFA’s money will go to grassroots football or even Africa’s league football? Amen and Unifying Africa with Images are two new photographic documentaries on football.

Amen is an amazingly vibrant collection of photographs by Jessica Hilltout who set out to record grassroots football across the continent. In her own words

“I have always been interested in the poetic character of the small, seemingly unimportant things. To me, there is hidden beauty in the ordinary and great beauty in the overlooked.

This book pays homage to Africa. It is a tribute to the forgotten, to the majority.
All the people who live and will remain in the shadow of the World Cup deserve to have a light shone on them, not just for their passion for the game, but more so for the fundamental energy and enthusiasm that shines through the way they live.

A large selection of the photographs are available online as well as Jessica’s Road Book which is a record of her journey – maps, car, little stories of people she met, indexes of her film and so on. The book is €60 and I would love this as a gift should anyone be minded to buy me one.

The second book is “Unifying African with Images” edited by Uche James Iroha. This huge collection of images by 12 mainly Nigerian photographers on the “Africanisation of football culture” is divided up into ten themes: Landscape, Style, Urban Culture, Pride, Belief, Action, Ecstasy, Passion and Family. The full review is here

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