Corbin Shaw and Women’s Aid highlight the relationship between domestic violence and televised football
Alongside the production company House 337, Women’s Aid and Corbin Shaw have created a campaign that reworks St George’s Cross to powerfully raise awareness of alarming increases in domestic violence.
- 29 November 2022
- Olivia Hingley
Over the past few years, it’s been widely reported that domestic violence cases rise when football is televised, especially during large tournaments like the World Cup. Moreover, with the current World Cup taking place over the winter months, many are now staying at home to watch the matches. This fact has therefore seen domestic violence spike by a massive 38 per cent, a study from Women’s Aid outlines.
In response to this figure, Women’s Aid has collaborated with Corbin Shaw on a film and poster campaign which raises awareness of the issue. Corbin Shaw is a London-based artist whose multimedia practice addresses issues of toxic masculinity and heteronormativity. A recognisable aspect of Corbin’s work is the reworking of flags – often the St George’s Cross – with slogans like “SOFTEN UP HARD LAD”. In an interview with us in 2020 Corbin stated: “I aim to infiltrate spaces like my home team football ground, where the biggest percentage of the audience is still men. My flags aim to subtly get my message across by speaking in a recognisable visual language that doesn’t alienate its audience.”
Corbin’s flags form the focal point of the campaign. Three are featured across various assets, reading “HE’S COMING HOME”, “NO MORE YEARS OF HURT”, and “SHE LOSES EVERY TIME”. An incredibly simple yet effective one-minute film pans to show a recognisable English street at dusk, adorned with flags, before ending with a zoomed-in focus on the flag reading “HE’S COMING HOME”. Christopher Ringsell, creative director at House 337 summarises: “During this time, as the nation comes together, we want to subvert the usual football tropes and shine a light on the chilling fact that for many women it’s a time of fear, not celebration. They need your support too. The visual spectacle of the flag retains its power, but with a new, chilling twist.”
Looking back on the project, Corbin states: “I first started looking at the facts and the figures on domestic violence in relation to football which I was so stunned by. I then went on to read real accounts from women who had experienced domestic violence in their own homes with their partners. I looked back through old newspaper headlines from previous England loses. Once I had collated a bank or words and phrases from the accounts and the newspaper headlines, I merged them together to create these chilling slogans with an eerily familiar tone.”
The spot was first shown after England’s match against the USA on November 25, which also happened to be International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The rest of the campaign will be running across posters and billboards. After the campaign has run, the flags will also be auctioned to raise money for Women’s Aid.
GalleryWomen's Aid: He's Coming Home (Copyright © Women's Aid, Corbin Shaw, House 377, 2022)
Women's Aid: He's Coming Home (Copyright © Women's Aid, Corbin Shaw, House 377, 2022)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.