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(Archive) Perimeters

A replicated corner of a football pitch, where the perimeter advertising boards display the hidden disasters of our beautiful game.

This project was part of DDW 2022
Cristobal Pereira

Football commentary adds fuel to the disastrous polarisation that football has. While the spectator focusses on the game’s visual assets, the whispers of its hegemonic discourse will unconsciously affect the viewer’s perception. The game is riddled with injustice through noticed and unnoticed racism

'Perimeters' highlights the unnoticed racism in football commentary.

The media tends to represent athletes from different origins in a biased way, reproducing common racial and ethnic stereotypes. The commentators harden the view of black athletes being less intelligent and hard‑working than their white counterparts and able to succeed only because of their “God-given” physical and athletic attributes.

As long as the spectator focuses on the game’s visual assets, these whispers will unconsciously affect the viewer’s perception. The game is still riddled with injustice through noticed and, maybe more dangerous, unnoticed racism, such as this biased commentary. We need to recognise and acknowledge racial prejudice to address the real impact of structural racism for the future of a more inclusive game, starting off with our own listening habits.

In their isolation, the words appear harmless, so I wish to bring this systematic problem to light by exposing them through this installation. The commentary of a combined 90-minute selection of various games has been carefully highlighted in the eyes of ‘sensitivity readers,’ focusing on cultural representation problems, biases, stereotypes, tropes and language that a listener could consider problematic.

Mick Santman

Jasper van den Ende