In June 2010, South Africa is the platform for the biggest event that has ever taken place on the African continent: the football World Cup. In the run-up to the World Cup and during the event, Africa will be centre stage for a while instead of being forgotten. Africa United follows a football-mad continent on the road to the 2010 World Cup. It is a book of stories, primarily by African journalists and photographers, about the love of football. It shows Africa as we rarely see it: as a continent bubbling over with talent, ambition and opportunities.
As well as highlighting the love of football itself, the book also pays a close attention to the social significance of football in Africa. Sporting successes create a feeling of dignity and pride in people, and the passion for football can bind them together, even in wartime. You will meet football-mad presidents, read about how the great Ethiopian athlete Haile Gebrselassie loves the game, the roles that Didier Drogba and George Weah played in bringing peace to the Ivory Coast and Liberia, and how young talents at a Ghanaian football academy are preparing for an international sporting career. Stars such as Michael Essien and Salomon Kalou speak out too, of course. The book also offers a perspective on the African style of play, reconstructs historic footballing events and above all shows the strength of a continent that is on the way to one of the high points in its history.
Africa United is being published as part of the Twenty Ten Project and has been made possible by funding of De Nationale Postcode Loterij, The Netherlands.
Stefan Verwer and Marc Broere selected the texts. They are part of the group that took the initiative for the crossmedia journalism project Roadto2010. In addition to the website www.roadto2010.nl, this project comprises a number of television documentaries about African football. The photographer Chris de Bode is responsible for the selection of the images in the book. He has published a book about professional cycling tours throughout the world.
An interactive spectacle about World Cup football in South Africa is starting on 12 June in the Tropenmuseum and the Tropentheater. It focuses on the African experience of this large-scale event. Every day there are different up-to-date reports by African journalists.
Click here for more info.
Authors: Chris Bode, de , Marc Broere , Stefan Verwer | ISBN (ENG ed.) 9789460220753 | English | Hardcover | 184 pages | 2010 | €19,95