{work in progress}

Football, David Goldblatt once said, is a pretty good barometer of our global social condition. In taking that statement seriously, I set out to research and write a PhD thesis about the intersection of football Ultras, protest, and free labor. In short, I look at a fan culture (“Ultras”) that first emerged in Italian stadia during the politically, socially, and economically tumultuous days of the 1970s. I look at how their visual culture draws on this historical context, how they create a dynamic stadium atmosphere with their own labor (and often money), and how they use the same visual repertoire(s) when they protest.

Finally, the analysis asks what is the relationship between the billion Euro industry of football and these fans and their visual culture? What significance do their protests have beyond football, in economies that are increasingly dominated by financial markets and trading in image, and images?

The methodology for this research is primarily anthropological, drawing on visual anthropology to understand the images and their value as currency, and ethnography to guide a collaborative research with fans.

In addition, this site serves as a blog for general thoughts and comments, and a deposit of some of the visual images I collect that are not part of my PhD. They are more, or less, curated.