No amateur football, no professional football, no Champions League, no UEFA Euro 2020, no champions this year. For over a century, football has brought people together. Now, ‘the most important side issue in life’ has come to a grinding halt.
'European Fields' by Hans van der Meer, a project including a book and a travelling exhibition, shows the primal form of the game: twenty-two players on a pitch, no matter their talent, no matter where. Passionately playing together, in a setting far away from the Champions League. His observations of life at the bottom of the football pyramid show not only how football is part of the landscape, but also how deeply the game and its rituals are rooted in human culture. With mild irony, Van der Meer demonstrates the mismatch between human ambition and the effective result, between an individual’s ‘inside’ perception and a more objective, distanced view of our behaviour. Amateur football as the perfect metaphor for life at large.
The 'European Fields' exhibition contained a number of video observations as well as photographic football landscapes. These were shot across Europe: from Belgium to the UK, Portugal, France and Italy. As part of the cultural programme surrounding Euro 2000, the first one 'Vlaamse Velden' ('Flemish Fields'), dates back to exactly 20 years ago.
In these days of social distancing, Paradox and partners, ranging from the world of football as well as the arts, wish to share these short movies with you. We will be launching five ‘matches of the week’ on consecutive weekends, starting May 9 on our YouTube Channel.
Spread the word and enjoy them while staying safely at home!
'European Fields Unlocked' is a project in the framework of X25, celebrating the 25th anniversary of Paradox, producer of documentary projects in photography.
May 8 - 'Vlaamse Velden', Text by Jan Mulder
May 15 - 'Calciatori della domenica', Text by Matteo Dore
May 22 - 'Saturday Afternoon, Sunday Morning', Text by David Winner
May 29 - 'Foot Provençal'
June 5 - 'Campo de futebol'