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I love soccer. I love taking pictures. I always have. Especially from people. And then there was this life-changing experience in 2009. About 12 years ago I met up with an friend in Hamburg. At that time he worked for an NGO called streetfootballworld, which use football as a catalyst to tackle social change: children’s rights , social integration, environmental protection, health and peaceful coexistence. They create a network to identify, connect and empower girls and boys across the world. My friend – who new that I love photography – asked me if I would join one of streetfootballworlds projects and capture the Football for Hope Festival in Cape Town end of 2009. This event featured a football tournament where 8 teams battled in a 5-a-side round robin competition. During the competition there will be no referees and the teams will negotiate their own rules to promote communication, understanding and respect. A few weeks later, my plane touched down at Cape Town International airport. It was December, summer in the Cape and almost 30 degrees Celsius. I was rather nervous. I had been to South Africa before, back in 1996, but I was sure that both I and the country had […]
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If the history of soccer had been dominated by women, Monica Santino would be on the tip of everyone’s tongue today. Not only because of her strong personality but also because of what she has achieved on the pitch. For the sports journalist and sports teacher, who is now 54 years old, soccer is her life. She sees soccer as a possible path to freedom. Since she was born, Monica fought to break out of norms and become an “anti-princess”. Her first memory, which has to do with happiness, had to do with soccer. She was still a child then. For Monica it was natural to start playing football because she was born into a family that loved football. The family gathering on Sunday consisted of going to the field in Vélez. When she got older, however, she experienced the first resistance to her wanting to play the game she loved from the same people who had urged her to play: her father and grandfather. When her body changed in puberty, it didn’t look so good when playing soccer. She was embarrassed by the looks of others and she suffered. When she grew up, playing soccer no longer fitted into the […]
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