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Kick it!

Is society reflected in the game of football? And what does fair play actually mean? These are two of the questions investigated by the exhibition “Kick it. International Photography!”. On the occasion of the Football World Cup Championship 2006, the Museum der Weltkulturen will be exhibiting aspects of the diversity but also global similarities of football by means of twenty five photographs taken from twelve countries.

The pictures will be presented in five categories in which social and historical themes will be examined: “cult places”, “idols”, “Fans”, “Fair Play” and “The Cult Object”. In “Cult Places” the question will be pursued concerning to the extent to which football has religious characteristics and the transformation of the stadium into a multi-functional arena that reflects social structures.

The theme “Fair Play”, emerging as a theme in current affairs as a consequence of increased racist scandals, shows particularly from an historical perspective what influence social changes have had on the body of rules and behaviour on the field. The same goes for the “Fans”: The emergence of fan clubs and VIP loges is a consequence of the changing social standing of the sport and the spread of television beginning in the 1950’s and 60’s. Even the “Cult Object” has a social significance: On the one hand, the reports in the 1990’s about child labour used in the manufacturing of footballs while, on the other, the football as a symbol of hope for children who seek distraction from their sorrows by means of footballs made of banana peels – or who dream of professional careers in football.