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If someone had told me that I was going to play football almost 2 months ago, I would have just shake my head and laughed. And then as a goalie. A thing of impossibility. I was a passionate handball player. Football never crossed my mind, because around the corner where I lived, there was simply no possibility. Football became in particular important to me in 2009, when I discovered the power of sport in the context of social change. Behind the camera. But the sport simply pulls you along. You can’t escape it. And so it came to pass that on 30 June I also played in a Guinness World Record football game as a goalkeeper for the first time in my life. After almost working through two days as a photographer, my goal was actually to play 10 minutes only. 1 hour became it finally. And in fact, you get intoxicated. Since 2017 I’m supporting Equal Playing Field (EPF). Together we challenge gender inequality in sport and promote development for girls and women globally. We believe in a world where they are treated equally and are given the respect they deserve. We fight for opportunity, equality and respect in […]
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A green football field surrounded by grandstand holding thousands of cheering spectators, celebrating the eleven winners of the match. The other team is devastated. Women in white tricots looking exhausted and very disappointed, one player lays on the field and covers her face to hide her tears. The feeling: It is over, everything. We gave more than 100% percent, but it wasn’t good enough. A few minutes ago, there was still the chance to win, but now we failed in the penalty shootout. It’s June 2019 and the FIFA Woman’s World Cup 2019 took place in France and numerous similar situations happened throughout the knockout stage. But the scenery above took place throughout the World Cup in Germany in 2011. Despite the eight years in between it is still an extremely relevant match concerning the art of losing. But losing is necessary and crucial for human growth. The USA’s football team (USWNT) in white was devastated in 2011, after losing the finals after a stunning penalty shootout. Seeing the winning Japanese team in their triumph moment was a tragic defeat, even more given that the USWNT are famous for their woman’s soccer and Japan was somewhat of a newcomer. Whenever […]
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Within our project „Kick it like Lira“, we’re primarily interested in supporting girls to become the best and fiercest version of themselves. As we learned in our last ‘sneak peak’ blog entry, many skills from football playing can be adapted to one’s educational career. Similarly, to football, many branches still fight with negative and reducing prejudices on women’s required skills for the job. In order to prove that these prejudices are anything else but true, Girls’ Future Day, or abbreviated Girls’ Day is a nationwide action day, specifically aimed at broadening girls’ range of career choices. Moreover, it intends to motivate girls and women to take up technical and scientific careers and untypical jobs. Local heroes – helping pave the way Some of the girls presented in our project correspond exactly to this atypical job description. In order to maintain the perfect balance between career and athletics as a young person, you need all-embracing and professional support. The “Kick it like Lira” project therefore cooperates with Anpfiff ins Leben, a non-profit association that supports young athletes and people with amputations in creating the best possible prospects for their private and professional future. A large network of schools, universities, associations, business […]
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Women and men all around the world have been marching today, more than 100 years since International Women’s Day was first celebrated. The ultimate goal of those marching is to recognize past struggles and achievements, and to draw attention to the many challenges still facing those speaking out for gender equality. Thousands of events have been held around the globe and the issues they are highlighting include, better representation of women in media and politics, and better global access to education and medical care. 100 years ago, the suffragette movement in Germany called on women to take to the streets; and thousands of them did. German women demanded shorter working hours, better pay and voting rights. Their courage was the foundation for the many fantastic women in Germany today whose skills, especially in the field of football, still go unrecognized. It is well known that women’s soccer, formerly known as “ladies” football, has been a wallflower for decades. Typically, sports clubs rejected women. Soccer matches for women were considered indecent and even forbidden! After years of fighting against the odds, female soccer players experienced a victory in 1970, when the German Soccer Association finally gave in and began allowing women’s […]
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On what’s ahead in 2019, particularly one event shines on the horizon: the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 taking place in France. Women’s football has recently gained in popularity and participation. But we have not reached our goal yet and will continue to challenge stereotypes and demand respect for women in soccer. Together with Equal Playing Field, DISCOVER FOOTBALL, Women Win, Global Goals World Cup and all the other great organization fighting for the United Nations goal number 5. Going this direction, I intend the exhibition “Kick it like Lira” focusing on girls and women playing football in Baden-Württemberg. It shares a familiar story to many of the World Class players who fought against the odds to make it where they are today. It is a tale about a journey of girls who overcome many obstacles to fight for change in the way female football is perceived – and about their individual motivation strengths and successes. It therefore aims at the visibility of girls and women playing football beyond the sexualized images portrayed in media. With an emotionally charged photo and video documentation, multi-faceted storytelling including a social media campaign, the project sets out principles to support the empowerment of women […]
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A year ago, I would never have dreamed of climbing Kilimanjaro. That was not on my bucket list. But faith is known to move mountains. And so I was able to capture exciting scenes from the first football game on the roof of Africa with my camera. The actors? Strong women from 24 countries.For courage and self-confidence, it is also in the next action. On April 5 we continue our journey and again women from more than 20 countries are taking on this new challenge to open the door to the next generation and show the great highs and lows that women and girls experience in simply trying to play the game they love. Our mission: to motivate women to fight for their dreams and their rights. The initiator of the campaign is Equal Playing Field, an organization dedicated to women’s equality and equality in sport – especially in football. “All girls deserve the chance to grow beyond their own borders,” says co-founder Laura Youngson. Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein of Jordan supports the EPF campaign. On the offensive: Encouraging women to go their own way These women are ready to give all – in show matches in front of unique […]
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The attraction of a good deed: Female footballer is honored by Bono in a U2 song after playing a spectacular match on the Kilimanjaro Kicking at an elevation of almost 6000 meters: A very special kind of exhilaration. A legal high that – in the truest sense of the word – can only be topped by very few other experiences. I.e. a concert by a band that is worshiped by its fans with a cult of reverence: U2. Time and time again, Bono, The Edge & Co., manage to convey a sense of pleasure with groove and goosebumps in a holistic experience. What do pinnacle Football and U2 have in common? More than anyone thinks. It involves women: On June 24th, 2017, approximately 30 female players from 24 countries made history and set a record by playing a football match on the Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. On this mountain, neither stadiums nor streets have a name. The game and the underlying ‘Equal Playing Field’ initiative potentially caught the attention of the Irish rock stars. Either way: The match – more precisely, the player Josefina Martorell – was actually mentioned by U2 in a song, which the band performed […]
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