The additional commentary during a football match has become a reliable source of information. It causes viewers to blindly hold their words as gospel, even if they make inaccurate ethnic misconceptions.

WdKA Graduation Show 2022
Dutch Design Week 2022

While investigating the commentator’s voice of football, I realised how televised football has exclusionary effects. 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. These representational myths slowly become common knowledge as they get repeated, week in and week out.

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 with our 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 under the eyes of sensitivity readers focusing on cultural representation problems, biases, stereotypes, tropes and language that a listener could consider problematic.

Perimeters shows a replicated corner of a football pitch, where the perimeter advertising boards display the hidden disasters of our beautiful game. The installation will be on display at the Dutch Design Week 2022.

This project was made possible by HELDEN, PlusPlusOne, Macloud, Sinead Maduro and Viktoria Kostantini.

2024 — Rotterdam