INMG Logo
ABOUT CURRENT ARCHIVE PARTICIPATE BLOG SHOP SUBSCRIBE

 

 

DOWNLOAD CATALOGUE PDF

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ronnie Close, still from More Out of Curiosity, HD digital film, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.

 

In the twenty-first century, citizens continue to gather in urban centres around the world to campaign for civil rights. Whilst collective bodies are evocative of mass exhaustion, protesters’ tenacity simultaneously represents creative re-mobilisations of constituent power in the face of a postmodern atrophy. If anti-World Trade Organisation demonstrations in Seattle 1999 mobilised social movements in mass opposition to the privileging of privatisation and the gross inequalities of neoliberal globalisation, by 2010 citizens subjugated to corrupt and abusive regimes in the Middle East realised the power of occupying highly-visible public spaces. Since 2011, the term Occupy has been used to symbolise and form global alliances between diverse and growing protest cultures. Cross-continental solidarity between activists is achieved via the dissemination of images and information across the Internet. Often countering mainstream discourse, participants represent individual experiences digitally, producing multiple and contrasting [continue reading ...]

 

 

 

Ronnie Close, still from More Out of Curiosity, HD digital film, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.

 

As a former sportswriter and current philosopher, I am delighted by any attempt to explore issues of sport in an intellectual manner. Yet I am just as sceptical towards political approaches to sports as I am towards political approaches to philosophy, given the risk of moral posturing that hangs like a storm cloud over the opening minutes of a ‘political’ discussion about any topic at all. Nonetheless, there have been at least two genuine encounters in recent years between soccer and politics, and Ronnie Close found himself perfectly positioned to capture both of these events on film. The more violent and explosive of the two events is the topic of Close’s More Out of Curiosity (2014), a withering record of the aftermath of a rare sports-related massacre. On 1 February, 2012, the Ultras group of supporters of the popular Ahly football club travelled from Cairo to Port Said to watch the match between their beloved team and home side Masry. Following the match, seventy-four Ahly fans were massacred on the pitch or suffocated in a closed exit tunnel, some of them taking their final breaths [continue reading ...]

 

 

 

Ronnie Close, still from More Out of Curiosity, HD digital film, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.

 

Several slogans repeat throughout the twenty-five minutes of Ronnie Close’s film More Out of Curiosity (2014). We see and read — again and again — ‘HOOLIGAN’ and ‘MARTYR’. Spelled out, not spoken, these words flash across the screen in bold white letters. They offer opposing descriptions of the film’s protagonists: young Egyptian men, fanatical football supporters who took to the streets of Cairo in 2012 following the massacre of seventy-four Al Alhy fans at Port Said. These young men, viewers learn as they watch and listen to footage of protests and rallies, are also known and identified as the Ultras (Ultras Ahlawy). They are a group, a club and a fan base — not a singular type. ‘HOOLIGAN’ and ‘MARTYR’, those opposing positions on the social spectrum of political activism, are simply how these men are referred to in the media — which is the real subject or protagonist of Close’s film. See, read, and repeat is the organising structure of Close’s canny inquiry into fanaticism and our mediated public sphere. We record. We stream. We watch. We repeat. We produce the news. In the news, after all, every hooligan is also or already, for someone or to something, a martyr [continue reading ...]