Fußballaballa

Format Screening

City Berlin, Germany

ZK/U Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik – On the occasion of World-Cup in football (2014, Brazil) a series of events has been organized around the premises of ZK/U, with the aim to strengthen the relation between the new cultural institution (ZK/U) and the local neighborhood. The popular format of ‘public-viewing’ was transformed to become a more interesting format through a series of unusual micro-events, such as watching games on small TVs in different languages, watching in parallel the same game - historical and current game.. watching in parallel a live-stream of protests outside the stadium and the actual game inside the stadium. Additionally, offering workshops, alternative film programs and panel-discussions.

We like watching Football Championships with our friends and neighbours. But ‘public viewings’ have become increasingly commercial. Expensive drinks, advertising everywhere and aggressive patriotism take away the fun. We wanted to create a public viewing, where it is easy to meet new people, drinks are affordable and you can even learn something about the countries playing, the social context of the sports game and more. We were inspired by trips to Indonesia and Africa, where people didn’t have beamers, but small TV sets. Everyone had to sit very closely together in order to see something. The atmosphere was great and inspiring.


We wanted to get in touch with people! We had started the ZK/U just 2 years before and wanted to attract a broad, non-artistic audience to our art and research institution. We also wanted to offer a critical alternative to commercial ‘public viewing’ and bring the diversity of our neighborhood into our space.


People from all kinds of backgrounds came together in the ZK/U and the surrounding park. The citizens developed an awareness for ‘their’ park. As a negative impact, their was a lot of littering (which again became the starting point for a follow-up project ‘Clash over Trash’). As a long term impact, the ZK/U established itself in the collective memory, as a hybrid institution between cultural/social centre and international research hub. FBB was repeated two years later with even more people squashed together in front of small tv’s. We’re already talking about first Ideas for the Worldcup 2018 in Russia.

Location Parks, Wastelands, Private Backyard…find the spot

It can be done on a public space, on a wasteland or in an existing institution. Anyhow, bear in mind that private spaces have their costs (rent, cleaning, etc.) and for the public spaces you need either a permission or B-plan for the case of your action not being approved by authorities. Our strategy for the park was that the TV-stations were mobile and presented as a temporal performative-art-piece that is ‘exhibited’ only during the games.

People Power Football enthusiastic technician and producers

We had a core group of volunteers. Additionally, we got a professional technician to connect and synchronize all TV sets. We had a crew (11mm) that provided us with exciting alternative films about football. We invited people to give workshops in the breaks of the game and after. We had a crew, to sell drinks and to clean up after the event. We hired some security, when we realized more people were coming, than we could handle.

Things you need Tech Rider

a) Technology: Beamer, Screen, 4:3 (‘old-school’) TVs, Audiosystem for Screenings and Panels, Light for Panels, Receiver Satellite Dish + Cable to connect all TV’s with the same signal b) Furniture: Chairs, Tables, Mobile tribune, Cargo-Bikes (for TV-sets in a park) c) Infrastructure: Electricity, toilets + water supply, food & drinks (bar)

Funding How much does it cost?

Self-funding: By selling drinks and food, we could create an income to pay the professional helpers. By asking for donations, we could finance musicians playing after the games. Funding: We got funding from our municipality: Aktionsfond - a program to support local initiatives. Arguments for funding:

  • Strengthening social cohesian in the neighborhood (football is a great glue!)
  • Educating football enthusiasts by ‘enhancing’ the game with educational content

Communication Football fans, families and neighborhood

We created postcards and posters and distributed them in the neighborhood. On our webpage we published a schedule of the games we would show. We created social media profiles and invited our football-mad friends. At the screenings, we had newsletter-lists for following games.

Official / Legal Licenses, Permissions and regulations

Look at the current license regulations for screening games on the Fifa or Uefa webpage. In 2014 and 2016 you were allowed to screen games, if you would not make money from it (entrance fees). http://de.uefa.com/uefaeuro/about-euro/public-screening/ If you want to sell drinks, make sure to get a license (for catering), if you want to play music, think about the GEMA. But consider keeping it simple! Football-Events can easily draw a lot of crowds: If it is happening indoors, make sure not more people enter the space, then officially allowed. Fire exits must always be free from people. It makes sense to consult a specialist (fire-brigade, police or event-managers). To include as many different cultures, make sure the TV commentaries are in many different languages. The turkish, arabic and russian (etc.) community will thank you.

The society of spectacle has been crystallised in the form of (football) public-viewing. We challenged it by staging diverse scenes for community-building.

Fussballaballa