Andrea Alai and his documentary project Of Wolves and Men is a project that I enjoy looking at and identify with to some extent. His project follows a group of Italian football fans who call themselves ‘ultras’. Some of his work could be described as ‘pictorial’, the moments he captures are really interesting and he encompasses people, environments and objects to create compositions with indexical links to create semiotic union (Culler 1982). His use of flags, create meanings of identity in addition to people such as the police that point to a counter culture of people who are on the fringes of society and seek belonging.
This black and white image depicts a male subject at what appears to be at an amaeteur/ semi professional football stadium in Italy, the subject appears to be someone who who doesn’t play by the rules as he is balancing on the top of the fence.
As a viewer of this work I find the composition pleasing, the pin sharp focus suggests that it may have been enhanced in post production in addition to the contrast in the black and white tones would also suggest that this is a digital photograph.
As I highlighted in my draft presentation I recognise intertextual references with football hooligan films of the early 2000’s within this work, themes of disenfranchised white working class males are present throughout, in addition to the places where such people congregate.
I emphasis with the choice of removing the colour from the image as this serves to add drama to the photograph and I suspect the assists in making a more pictorial photograph using the skin tones to add contrast against the green tones of the football pitch.
Alai achieves a humorous photograph with a very sinister undertone as it is highly likely that the subject is attempting to invoke some type of conflict with his peers who probably surround the photographer at this moment.
This type of image may represent the darker side of my football project. In past reflections I have explored the idea that my project may be a form of activism although with a quieter voice. This may be broadly similar to the work of Alai although this photograph has a louder sense of activism probably leading to conflict with the authorities.
As I highlighted in my draft presentation I recognise intertextual references with football hooligan films of the early 2000’s, themes of disenfranchised white working class males are present throughout, in addition to the places where such people congregate.
Culler, J (1982) Culler, The Persuit of Signs, Routledge, London.
Alai, A. (2020) Of Wolves and Men [online] Available at: https://www.andreaalai.com/stories (Accessed: 30th March 2020)
The Football Factory (2004) Directed by Nick Love [Film]. London, Vertigo Films.