In June and July of 2010, South Africa will host what some call the largest and most popular sporting event in the world. This will be the first time that the FIFA World Cup (European Football) will be held on the continent of Africa. South African soccer fans are known for their trumpeting of Vuvuzelas and their outrageously adorned headgear.  These incredibly artful creations, known as Makarabas, have their origins in the mining hardhats that were once synonymous with black migrant workers of the apartheid-era.  Today, these mining helmets have been transformed into colorful symbols of a uniquely South African national identity, and are now donned by both blacks and whites.

For this project I will travel to South Africa to make formal portraits of soccer fans (primarily South African fans) before they go into the stadiums to cheer on their teams. My intent is to build on my previous bodies of work, with respect to both the construction of identity in the post-apartheid era, and the expression of the self through portraiture 

In addition to portraits of soccer fans, I plan to create a photographic narrative regarding the impacts the FIFA World Cup has on South Africa as a whole. I will photograph soccer fields in the small towns and townships along our route, documenting the social and physical landscapes that surround this national pastime.

– Ian van Coller