The Forgotten Team of the 2022 FIFA World Cup: What about the Beautiful Game?
A photo exhibition by Mohamed Badarne in solidarity with migrant workers in Qatar.
Berlin/Kathmandu, 1 May 2022: On the occasion of International Workers’ Day, we announce the upcoming exhibition Forgotten Team at Oyoun cultural center in Berlin Kreuzberg from 1 to 7 June 2022. The photographic storytelling project puts the spotlight on the lives of migrant working people who have been laying the groundwork for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Without them, the “forgotten team”, this mega sports event with all the new stadiums, hotels, and transport networks could not take place. Thousands of men and women from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, and other places set out to make a better living, but they have faced harsh working conditions and even death.
“While the world prepares to celebrate the football world cup, the deaths of so many workers remain unaccounted for. The world must bring justice to us before the dirty game begins!”, says A.M. who lost her husband in a construction work accident.
Over five years, between 2017 and 2022, Mohamed Badarne visited Qatar and Nepal several times to meet with workers and their families, and to capture their stories and the injustice they suffered. Mohamed works independently, and he has developed a large network of contacts among workers, organizations, and journalists. Mohamed even had the opportunity to meet some of the workers twice, both in Qatar and back home.
Thus, Forgotten Team turned into a photographic journey in solidarity with all workers who have been building the infrastructure for the FIFA World Cup 2022. It shows them in Qatar – at work and in their private space – and after their return home. It also portrays families whose loved ones died there, as well as local initiatives that seek accountability and compensation. The intention is to spread their word, their hopes, and dreams as well as their bereavement. In short, the story of all of us.
The “goal” of this exhibition project is to become a platform of encounter among the workers, football fans, decision-makers, competing athletes, and human-rights practitioners to fight labor exploitation and to bring recognition to the men and women who are building a world that remains largely off-limits to them.
Now is the time to hold Qatar and FIFA accountable for the violations of workers’ rights. But the 2022 FIFA World Cup is neither the beginning nor will it be the end of the ongoing exploitation of working people in search for a life of dignity for themselves and their families. Unless we change the game.
For inquiries about background information, short portfolio, interviews, or guided tours of the exhibition, please write to Mohamed Badarne at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opening: Wednesday, 1 June, 19:00
Opening hours: 2 to 7 June, 12:00 – 18:00
Where: Oyoun, Lucy-Lameck-Straße 32, 12049 Berlin (by Volkspark Hasenheide)