I absolutely love World Cup and I try to watch every single game – (my apologies to my clients during these trying times :D) but every 4 years I hope that the additional content surrounding the games will improve and it never does. This is a tournament that owns such a huge opportunity to expose people from all over the world to the beauty of different cultures and almost all of the media does just the opposite. Time and again they are doubling down on stereotypes and tired old narratives. The VW commercial that is running this year is particularly embarrassing with it’s caricatures of northern Europeans. But when you get down to Africa and South America, it’s downright offensive. I remember watching a match in Lagos in 2014 and seeing a sort of country profile segment on Ghana which decided to focus on children that pick garbage out of the dump to survive. Ghana is not a perfect place by any means but it is one of the nicest countries in West Africa and they have a great deal of interesting stories to tell. They are so much more than “African Poverty” and it takes very little effort to see that. We have heard the poverty story so many times. Who on earth wants to hear it again? Especially when we are celebrating Ghana and their exceptional football team!
At Rucksack we are always working to redirect this kind of media representation because it is simply noise. It is an overstimulated wavelength. There is no need for more of the same and it is most certainly not helping to make things any better for anyone.
This tournament has been chock full of the unexpected. I wish I could say the same about the media surrounding it.