Cardiff’s Ffotogallery is to host a new exhibition exploring the lives of homeless and socially excluded through the lens of the Homeless Football World Cup 2019.
Now in its 17th year, the Homeless World Cup is set to take place in Cardiff from the 27th August 2019, bringing approximately 500 players from all over the world to the nation’s capital. Photographer Paul John Roberts has been following the progress of Wales’ players and trainers in the build-up to the event, capturing the trials, tribulations and celebrations, as well as highlighting the social benefits that the Homeless World Cup can achieve. The exhibition One Match, supported by Ffotogallery, hopes to increase awareness of the individuals facing homelessness, and challenge the negative stereotypes attributed to them by society.
Through football, the subjects pictured in Roberts’ work become teammates who learn to trust and share. They have a responsibility to attend training sessions and games, to be punctual, and prepared to participate. They feel that they are part of something larger than themselves. From street to stadium, the sense of empowerment that comes from participating in the sport helps them see that they can change their lives.