THE CRITICAL ROOM: SHOULD WE BOYCOTT THE WORLD CUP IN QATAR?
On 21th of November, one of the most debated sporting events of all time starts: the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The death toll among the countless migrant workers from poor countries in Asia and Africa passed an unbelievable 6,500 last year. A number of journalists who have uncovered the inhumane conditions among the workers have been arrested and had their material confiscated.
Football enthusiasts are divided on the question of whether to boycott the championship or not. Editor in the football magazine Josimar, Håvard Melnæs, meets Lars Schou from the Norwegian supporter initiative Vår fotball, which works against sports washing, and Ole Kristian Sandvik from the Norwegian Supporter Alliance and the Norwegian Football Federation`s Qatar committee to talk about the World Cup and what the mood for a boycott is now, the day before kick-off.
- Moderator – Håvard Melnæs is a Norwegian writer and journalist who since 2018 has been editor of the football magazine Josimar. Among other things, Melnæs has worked a lot with in-depth journalism regarding the World Cup in Qatar, and has been on several press trips to the country.
- Lars Schou is a member of the Norwegian supporter initiative Vår fotball, which works actively against sports washing in football, with a base in the grassroots of Norwegian club football. Sports washing is when a state uses high-profile sporting events to divert attention from critical matters. Lars has a background as a Vålerenga supporter, and has participated in fotball podcast Pyro & Pivot on several occasions.
- Ole Kristian Sandvik is a board member of the Norwegian Supporter Alliance (NSA). He was one of 14 members of the Qatar committee, which was appointed by the Norwegian Football Federation to investigate a possible boycott of the World Cup in Qatar.
About the film
In THE WORKERS CUP, we follow a group of construction workers who have moved to Qatar to work. In an attempt to live up to a kind of social responsibility, all the construction companies working on the World Cup decide to organize a football tournament for the workers, where each company has its own team. Through the tournament, we get insight into what life is like for the workers who try to earn enough money to provide for their families at home.
- The screening of THE WORKERS CUP begins at 17.30.
- The conversation after the film screening will be in Norwegian.
- Josimar is an independent, monthly magazine that covers Norwegian and international football as a professional field, cultural phenomenon, social actor and business area. The magazine was launched in April 2009, and is named after the legendary Brazilian right-back of the same name. Josimar wants to show football's greatness, but also its dark sides. Josimar writes about football's history, the game's tactical changes, training methodology and playing style, but also supporter culture and football's role in world society. The aim of the magazine is to engage in critical and investigative journalism in an industry which they believe is characterized by large sums of money and double roles among key actors.
The Critical Room
The Critical Room (TCR) is our forum for debate and conversation. We invite exciting guests from both Norway and abroad to discuss topics that are highlighted in both documentaries and fiction films. This year we are showing five films in the TCR section, each of which in its own way addresses current social issues and problems related to countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.