Turning the popular format of 'public viewing' of sports into an educational and community-building event
During major football events
On the occasion of the 2014 World Cup football in Brazil, a series of events was organized around the premises of ZK/U, with the aim to strengthen the relation between this new cultural institution and the local neighborhood. The popular format of a public screening was transformed into a series of unusual micro-events, such as watching games on small TVs in different languages, simultaneously watching the same countries compete currently and in the past, watching in parallel a live-stream of protests outside the stadium and the actual game inside. Additionally, we offered workshops, alternative film programs and panel-discussions. The format was repeated two years later with even more people squashed together in front of small tv’s. Now, we’re talking about our first ideas for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
We like watching football championships with our friends and neighbors but public screenings have become increasingly commercial. Expensive drinks, advertising everywhere and aggressive patriotism take away the fun. We wanted to create a public screening where it is easy to meet new people, where drinks are affordable, and where you can even learn something about the countries that are playing and the social context of the sports game. We were inspired by trips to Indonesia and Africa, where instead of beamers people had small TV sets. Everyone had to sit very closely together in order to see the game, which created an intimate and inspiring atmosphere. By adapting this format to our context we offered a critical alternative to commercial public screenings to a broad, non-artistic audience. With ZK/U only being two years old, we wanted to connect with the neighborhood and bring its diversity into our art and research institution. The local citizens hereby developed an awareness of their collective ownership of the park, and ZK/U established itself in the collective memory.