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Football supporters from Casablanca, Marocko

Ultra

Football and politics in the mediterranean

It’s sometimes said that football and politics don’t mix. But the truth is often rather different, not least on the terraces.

During the Arab Spring of 2010 – 2012, fan groups played a central role in a number of the popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East. Flags bearing the colours of various clubs were on display in protest marches, and the chants of the terraces made their way to public squares. Energies that were normally devoted to supporting a particular team were used to depose governments. And the thing all of these groups had in common was that they referred to themselves as ‘Ultras’. 

Who were these groups? What is the link between politics and fanatical devotion to a club? 

In this exhibition, film-makers, researchers, photographers and journalists offer their own perspective on these questions. Using a variety of documentation from different countries around the Mediterranean, we examine fandom as a cultural phenomenon.