• Hero

    Jane Stockdale: Watching the World Cup

Behind The Scenes

Jane Stockdale went to Brazil to photograph the crowds watching the World Cup

Posted by Maisie Skidmore,

I’m sure there are plenty of documentary photographers for whom going to Brazil to capture the World Cup would be something of a dream, but as far as I’m concerned none of them even come close to the exceptional Jane Stockdale. After having her application to photograph the crowds watching the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow turned down three times, she decided to take matters into her own hands, and jumped on a plane to Brazil to shoot audiences there instead.

From chaotic favelas to a packed Copacabana beach, and a hospital’s A&E department to an old peoples’ home, Watching the World Cup shows the football-obsessed masses in a fantastically vivid light. We caught up with Jane, fresh off the plane, to find out more and to ask what you do when you’re in a bar full of Brazilians who have just watched their team lose 7-1….

How did this project come about?

Years ago when I was studying at Edinburgh College of Art I shot a project about crowds. The idea was super simple. I ignored the pop/rock/sports star and just shot the crowds all over Scotland, from the rugby to football, Pantera to Boyzone, the BAFTAs to the Scottish General Elections. This was such a laugh to collaborate on and I loved shooting it.

During the Olympics in 2012 I documented various events all over London; the energy was amazing. In the Olympic stadium the crowd hit 120 decibels cheering, screaming, shouting but we only saw small clips of the spectators. I couldn’t believe no-one was really focusing on documenting them.

The World Cup is all about winning and losing, and this project came about through losing as I really wanted to shoot the crowds idea on home turf at Glasgow 2014. I applied to Creative Scotland three times with this idea – but got turned down three times. The second time I was turned down I listened to LOSER by Beck, then just decided to go shoot the same idea at the World Cup in Brazil. I spoke to a few pals, and an hour later booked a flight.

I’m not a huge football fan, but I love the World Cup. Where better to shoot crowds than at the World Cup in Brazil?

  • 3

    Jane Stockdale: Watching the World Cup

  • 1

    Jane Stockdale: Watching the World Cup

How did you go about it?

The idea for this project was to document different sides to the World Cup. So for each game we hung out with different groups of pals, mates, friends, families and communities across Brazil to shoot their experience. From an old folks’ home, to hanging out in the A&E department at Sao Paulo’s central Hospital das Clinicas where the medics turned the staff room into a World Cup room, and from a farm in the sticks to Copacabana beach; for each match we hung out with a totally different crowd of people and documented their experience of watching the World Cup.

What was the process of working on it like? 

Amazing. I loved it. We met so many incredible people. We really wanted to avoid shooting typical clichéd shots of photogenic, face-painted fans, and document other sides and realities of the World Cup.

For example, Complexo da Maré is a huge sprawling favela in Rio and home to over 100,000 people. Since March, it’s been occupied by 3000 heavily armed soldiers in preparation for the tournament. I think its really important to also document the World Cup experience of the community in Maré. They had some of the best decorated streets in the entire city.

  • 4

    Jane Stockdale: Watching the World Cup

  • 5

    Jane Stockdale: Watching the World Cup

What was it like when Brazil lost 7-1?

Ouch! We were in Complexo de Alemão for this game. For the first half-hour everyone was just sitting in silence totally shell-shocked. At 5-0 we were a bit worried that things might kick off (two weeks previously there was a shoot out and three people died). At 6-0 we bought a round of drinks for everyone in a bar and by 7-0 we were all jumping, cheering and hugging. At game over, the favela erupted in fireworks and a massive Baile Funk party – everyone forgot about the football. I had to explain loads of times to everyone I’m Scottish, not German!

What made you decide to make a website to house the images?

It was really spontaneous. Photos from this project were being exhibited in a mix of group shows and publications. Then my friends emailed me to say they were loving the photos and asked what I was doing with them. They also sent me a link to a photo essay on the New York Times website to check out. I loved it, and five minutes later we decided to create an online home for this project, called Watching the World Cup.

My mate Damian has written extensively on Brazil, and co-authored a book called Culture is our Weapon so he wrote the text. Enjoythis designed and coded the site at super-fast lightning speed. I edited it on the plane back and we launched when I landed.

How do you feel now when you look back on the images?

Nothing but love. Our thank you list for this project is massive and was great to collaborate with, and meet so many amazing people. I ’d love to shoot this idea now at Rio 2016. 

  • 6

    Jane Stockdale: Watching the World Cup

  • 7

    Jane Stockdale: Watching the World Cup

  • 8

    Jane Stockdale: Watching the World Cup

  • 9

    Jane Stockdale: Watching the World Cup

  • 10

    Jane Stockdale: Watching the World Cup

  • 2

    Jane Stockdale: Watching the World Cup

Ms-300

Posted by Maisie Skidmore

Assistant Editor Maisie joined It’s Nice That fresh out of university in the summer of 2013 and has stayed with us ever since. She has a particular interest in art, fashion and photography and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast. She also oversees our London listings guide This At There.

Most Recent: Behind The Scenes View Archive

  1. Main

    No magazine gets snapped up and devoured like Apartamento when it arrives into the It’s Nice That studio – there’s something about its size, understated beauty and incomparable wit that makes it irresistable. It states that it’s an “everyday life interiors magazine,” but it’s so much more than that, providing in-depth interviews with some of the coolest people who walk on this earth, with snooping photographs of their dwellings to boot. Now on its 14th edition, I wanted to ask Omar Sosa, the magazine’s much-loved founder, a little about this issue, those in the past, and where Apartamento is headed.

  2. Main1

    Embarrassingly, I only recently realised the magic and majesty of The Paris Review. I came across it when a recent issue was illustrated by one of my favourite artists, Chris Ware. Eager to see who was responsible for this decision, I tracked down their art editor and came across Charlotte Strick. Charlotte is a fantastic, intelligent book jacket designer who is utterly seeped in the work that she makes, so much so that she writes about design almost as much as she practices it. I was keen to speak to Charlotte about what she did and what got her there, but I wasn’t prepared for the level of detail she was to go in. – she gives a truly spectacular interview. Here she is…

  3. List

    It’s a well-established fact that even the most conceptually exciting product designs can fall flat on their face if they’re photographed poorly. Imagery can often make or break these projects. And while of course this isn’t the be-all and end-all, it’s worth taking this part of the process seriously to maximise the chances of your work cutting through the noise.

  4. List

    A couple of weeks ago, Channel 4 aired a documentary (below) which saw photographer Giles Duley (himself a triple amputee) meet some of the disabled victims of the war in Syria. It was a difficult watch but an extremely important story to tell, and one that meant a lot to Giles. He got in touch to say that although The Guardian ran an in-depth piece on the same theme, he had some photographs which weren’t used that he was really keen to get out there.

  5. List

    Lawrence Zeegen has never been one to mince his words. The illustrator, writer and dean of design at London College of Communication has recently launched his new book Fifty Years Of Illustration which he co-wrote with Grafik editor Caroline Roberts. It’s an impressively ambitious undertaking with the duo condensing five decades into 1,000 images by 240 illustrators from 30 countries. Lawrence admits it’s a “pretty personal selection” but one that aims to “represent the movers and shakers across each decade according to the work I believe was instrumental in shaping the discipline.”

  6. List

    In December last year we received a zine in the post from Yorkshire-based photographer Christopher Nunn that documented a small selection of images he’d gathered in Ukraine. Kalush offered a unique perspective on a region that was thrust suddenly and violently into the public consciousness, showing us the quiet, everyday side of a place that – from television coverage at least – you’d have been forgiven for assuming was razed to the ground.

  7. Main

    Victoria Siddall has worked at Frieze for just over a decade and two years ago was made Director of Frieze Masters. Excitingly, just a few weeks ago she was appointed Director of Frieze Masters, Frieze New York and Frieze London. As well as being one of the most powerful women in the art world, Victoria is also my sister, so I was curious to find out how she’s feeling on the dawn of her new career.

  8. List

    Forget what you think you know about surfing; the “gnarly dudes” on the hunt for “tubular waves” (I’m basing most of this language on Sean Penn’s character in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, but you catch my drift). Finisterre’s latest surf film is more in line with Jonathan Glazer’s legendary Guinness ad than any piece of footage you’re likely to see for O’Neill or Billabong. For one thing it’s not set in an exotic location – there are no bikini-clad babes – as they’ve traded warmer waters for the icy depths off the coasts of northern Scotland and Ireland.

  9. .jpg?1413390909

    All too often these days we stumble across a jaw-dropping example of set design, only to discover the impressive final image is actually the result of some clever visual trickery and digital manipulation. That’s an impressive art unto itself, don’t get me wrong, but pure CGI can leave me feeling a little shortchanged.

  10. List

    When David Mckendrick told us he was leaving Esquire and setting up a new venture with Wallpaper* art director Lee Belcher, we were fascinated to see what the fruits of such a top-notch collaboration might look like. Last week we got our answer, when a copy of the new Christie’s magazine came dropping through our letterbox.

  11. Main

    Ever see those massive billboards of ice-cold beverages and think “who actually photographs those?” Well now we know, it’s Nick Rees, a still-life photographer who specialises in drinks. From pints of Guinness as black as night, to a mouthwatering, fizzing glass of ice cold Coca-Cola, Nick manages to fill your mouth up with saliva with every image he takes. Want to know the best bit? He doesn’t even use CGI – he states that each of his images is “100% a photograph.” We caught up with Nick to find out the ins-and-outs of this niche branch of photography…

  12. List

    Flickr is one of those magical treasure mines of the internet that’s sure to yield gems if you just look hard enough, and every now and again on our travels we stumble across a great hunk of uncut diamond. To continue the metaphor, Dave Glass is one such treasure.

  13. Main

    London-based brand Heresy presented its new collection this week in the guise of its Autumn Winter 2014 lookbook. Entitled Forming, the collection is a quiet amalgamation of illustration and traditional workwear, combining illustrated elements and hand-drawn type with carefully crafted structural staples made from loop-back jersey and felted wool.