ESPERANTO WORLD CUP FOOTBALL TEAM

La Loko campaigns to have an Esperanto football team compete for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa 2010.

La Loko's campaign is a way to promote Esperanto as well as suggesting ways culture production can be organized outside the framework of the nation state.

The campaign will reach its climax during the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

FIFA and the Esperanto movement both came out of the idealism, internationalism and hope for the future that existed in the infancy of the 20th century. Today they seem poles apart.

In Paris in 1904 representatives from Belgium, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland met in Paris to found FIFA. The year after the first international congress of Esperantists was held in Boulogne.

Today FIFA is a flourishing billion-dollar entertainment business, while most people think the Esperanto movement is dead.

We are utopians in the sense that we truly believe that the world would work better if more people would speak Esperanto. When we tell people that we speak Esperanto we often get reactions like: 'Well, that was another of those utopian thoughts that failed', or just: 'Does that still exist?' The image of Esperanto has certainly been brighter. For us as artists — as professionals in analysing, producing, and distributing imagery — the state of the image of Esperanto provides us with a challenge full of productive potential.

The campaign will involve dialogues, negotiations and work with activists, communication consultants, consumers, curators, the corporate world, designers, Esperantists, journalists, philosophers, and football fans, football players and football trainers.

The campaign puts a wedge into a world, which still to a large degree revolves around the 19th century notion of the nation state. We are also interested in the knowledge that will be produced through dialogues and confrontations of the campaign. The work process will continually be documented and archived in a wide range of forms.


Olsson and Salomon - 2005