After a year of cardboard cut-out fans and canned audience noise, the Euros brought some sightings of the return of large numbers of people in stadiums, and with it, the collective voice of supporters chanting and singing.
Through the physical act of making sound together, this workshop asks what it means for female* voices to claim space and how chanting together might provide a means to unify, after having spent so long apart. By examining the language and structure of football songs, the workshop seeks to subvert the often discriminatory nature of the chants that reverberate around stadiums, as well as their nationalist divisions.
Drawing from the conventions of vocal warm-ups and sports training exercises, Nicola and Alice May will guide the group through listening, using our voices and chanting together.
*This workshop is open to any active participant who identifies as female, non-binary, trans, femme, genderqueer, gender neutral or otherwise outside of the cis male gender identity.
We recommend joining the workshop from a room where you can move around and feel comfortable making noise.
Nicola Singh is an artist currently based between West Yorkshire and Newcastle upon Tyne. She teaches art in university and community settings. Her practice encompasses solo and collaborative performance, film, photography, drawing and sculptural installation.
Alice May Williams is an artist and football coach based in London. She works across film, painting and text. In 2019 her series of paintings ‘With You, If You Need’ exploring mental health benefits of the affirmative language in women’s football were commissioned for ‘Anxiety’ at the Science Gallery London. She is currently working on a film about the history of women’s football in her local park, to be featured in a group feminist show in Helsinki during August 2021.
Curated by Against the Run of Play, a research group focussed on football and sports culture more broadly. Mixing up spectatorship and participation of art and football, Against the Run of Play aims to champion and empower female fans and players and add to the critical discourse around gender, representation and football culture. Against the Run of Play are Sophie Bownes, Lucy Cowling and Alice Ongaro.
Image: Alice May Williams, With You If You Need, 2019. Courtesy the artist.