Season Zine online Story - EAST MEETS ESSEX

  • Sharmaarke Ali Adan

'I set out to create a project that signified my identity, my passion for sport and how it coincides with culture. Being a Somali photographer, I think it's important to share the stories of African culture, with this series showcasing football as an important part of Somali social culture. This really coincided with my upbringing in Essex, where football is also effective in building community. I shot at my local sports club, so it was both physically and conceptually close to home, and the footballs used came from the charity Balls for Africa. Also being based in East London, they're an organisation that really connects with my message, preventing diseases and donating 150,000 balls to children. Everyone was ecstatic when we recently won our first game at the World Cup Qualifiers in history against Zimbabwe, I also felt it was important to unify the spirit of both men's and women's Somali football. I had an opportunity to work with a great team: Asha Hai, a regular collaborator handling the casting and stylist Jonathan Johnson who really understood the vision. He translated the celebration of not only my experience but also that of the cast, creating and connecting a sentiment between men’s and women’s football