FIFA Museum announces "211": A collaborative global exhibition on football heritage and culture

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FIFA Museum announces "211": A collaborative global exhibition on football heritage and culture
The FIFA World Cup gallery. Image courtesy: FIFA Museum.

ZURICH.- The FIFA Museum announces ‘211’, the museum’s first collaborative exhibition, which will invite all 211 FIFA Member Associations from around the world to share their own objects, stories and histories, together presenting a snapshot of global football culture.

FIFA’s vision is to ‘make football truly global’ and the FIFA Museum is dedicated to representing FIFA’s 211 member associations and their communities both within the museum in Zurich and through creating opportunities to reflect on and increase the visibility of all different individual and unique football cultures.

The ‘211’ exhibition will open at the FIFA Museum ahead of the next FIFA World Cup™ and will feature objects, videos, interactive and digital content, shining a light on the immense scale and diversity of different football cultures, as well as the experiences of the fans that shape them. The exhibition will explore how the magic of football transcends borders, social and political boundaries, class and gender and the common threads and values that weave throughout the wider ecosystem of international football.

To begin this collaborative project, FIFA Museum will invite each member association to select a distinctive object that reflects on their respective unique football culture. Member associations will be encouraged to contribute electic items that represent both the mens’ and the womens’ game, which might illuminate the spirit of the players, passion of the fans or draw new attention to an iconic moment, that continues to have resonance today.

The exhibition announcement followed a 2-day virtual conference, hosted by the FIFA Museum, which brought together over 60 of FIFA’s member associations for the first time to further the development of football heritage and culture. The Second International FIFA Museum Conference included representatives from every continent and examining football as a global phenomenon and importance of documenting, preserving, and celebrating the rich history of the game.

Marco Fazzone, Managing Director, FIFA Museum says, ‘We are extremely proud to announce ‘211’ and are looking forward to closely collaborating with all FIFA Member Associations on this important exhibition about football culture. We hope to uncover a fascinating array of objects, that show how football is played and loved around the world and to enable each member association to shine in their own way, presenting the pieces and stories that are special and unique to them. Through the second international FIFA Museum Conference as well as the exhibition ‘211’ we hope to build a supportive global community for heritage and culture so we can together share the magic of football with the entire world.’

Fazzone initiated the first International FIFA Museum Conference in 2020, creating an unprecedented annual forum for the football and museums sector to forge new connections, exchange knowledge, offer peer support and address the opportunities and challenges particular to football institutions. The 2020 conference was attended by 9 leaders of national football museums and cultural programs associated with Member Associations that have won the FIFA World Cup™ or FIFA Women’s World Cup™ at least once. This year, FIFA invited all 211 member associations to participate in the conference, bringing together national museums and specialists in heritage, history, culture, education, social responsibility, diversity, legacy and sustainability.

This year’s program featured a remarkable line-up of guest speakers including Matthew Spiteri Gonzi (Commercial Director of Malta Football Association), who spoke on how the National Football Association of Malta developed and built their own national football museum. Angelita Teo (Director of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage) delivered the keynote speech, which tackled topics including the cultural value of sports museums and developing innovative partnerships and networks to bring Olympic values and heritage to a wider cultural audience.

Burçak Madran (ICOM - ICMAH President) and Markus Leuthard (Deputy Director of Swiss National Museum) shared their insights and expertise on museological procedures and approaches, including collections care, conservation and management. Concluding the conference, Kati Price (Head of Digital Media, V&A Museum) delved into the opportunities offered by new technologies and the digital future of museums.

The second International FIFA Museum Conference marks a significant step forward in establishing ongoing cooperation, building up a network for safeguarding football culture and heritage globally, where the FIFA Museum, member associations and their national museums can continue to share knowledge and work towards joint initiatives, beginning with the ‘211’ exhibition. To sustain this momentum, FIFA Museum has also launched a digital platform, where participants can connect and access a range of digital resources and workshops to support their cultural work.

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