During the past 10 years of construction in Qatar, at least 6500 workers have passed away in work related deaths. Each life is embroidered onto the center of the green football field. Bringing the counting of the horrific number to the center of attention.
DK, NP / 2021
@ The Royal Danish Academy
Rugs used to be Nepal’s biggest export. Sadly, this craft-based trade has been surpassed by the export of cheap migrant labour. Booming economies in nearby countries have led to massive construction sites depending on thousands of migrant workers. The construction site of the FIFA World Cup 2022, in Qatar, is the most recent issue of discussion on this matter – a construction site so horrifying it has kickstarted an urgent debate about the morals of international football, western amusement and the livelihood of migrant workers.
Football used to be about the ability for anyone to become a world champion. Over time the sport has created remarkable occasions of unity, controversy, and passion. Unfortunately, the creation of the FIFA World Cup 2022, in Qatar, has shined the light upon a dark side of the sport. During the past 10 years of build-up of the facilities in Qatar, more than 6500 migrant workers have passed away in work related deaths.
It is time to draw the line. Incidents like these must never occur again. A football field must remain a battlefield where no lives are lost. The World Cup must remain a fight for a champion not a fight for human survival.
These rugs brings together the two interwoven issues and acts as a reminder to all fans, players and involved parties to continue the debate post World Cup 2022. Let us unite and demand a human-centered future of international football and persistent improvements of the livelihood of migrant workers.
The colors of all the winning nations throughout time are woven together as a celebration of the championship – from the first championship won by Uruguay in 1930 to the latest in 2018 won by France. Appreciating the tournament to be a peaceful fight between nations, where no man should fight for human survival.
The frequently used metaphor “it is time to draw the line” is materialized as a red line the blue rug. Underlining the urgent need for action and insistence on persistent changes for guest workers of future championships.