Format Screening

City Berlin, Germany

ZK/U Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik – On the occasion of the 2014 World Cup football in Brazil, a series of events was organized around the premises of ZK/U, with the aim to strengthen the relation between this new cultural institution and the local neighbourhood. The popular format of a public screening was transformed into a series of unusual micro-events, such as watching games on small TVs in different languages, simultaneously watching the same countries compete currently and in the past, watching in parallel a live-stream of protests outside the stadium and the actual game inside. Additionally, we offered workshops, alternative film programmes and panel-discussions. The format was repeated two years later with even more people squashed together in front of small tv’s. Now, we’re talking about our first ideas for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

We like watching football championships with our friends and neighbours but public screenings have become increasingly commercial. Expensive drinks, advertising everywhere and aggressive patriotism take away the fun. We wanted to create a public screening where it is easy to meet new people, where drinks are affordable, and where you can even learn something about the countries that are playing and the social context of the sports game. We were inspired by trips to Indonesia and Africa, where instead of beamers people had small TV sets. Everyone had to sit very closely together in order to see the game, which created an intimate and inspiring atmosphere. By adapting this format to our context we offered a critical alternative to commercial public screenings to a broad, non-artistic audience. With ZK/U only being two years old, we wanted to connect with the neighbourhood and bring its diversity into our art and research institution. The local citizens hereby developed an awareness of their collective ownership of the park, and ZK/U established itself in the collective memory.

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.