In June 2016 an alternative ‘Football World Cup’ was held for territories that are not recognised as independent countries – many of which have been subject to armed conflict. The tournament was staged in Abkhazia, a disputed region of Georgia on the Russian frontier.
Solent’s Dr Joel Rookwood, a senior lecturer in football, attended the event and obtained rare access to life on both sides of the contested border – which is the subject of his latest documentary.
In a fractured territory where international access is severely restricted, Joel was granted full media accreditation to the event, and captured some unique footage. He has produced a 60-minute film which examines the connections between football and identity, nationalism, statehood, conflict, mega events and international relations.
As well as viewing the film you will also have the opportunity ask Joel about his experience in Georgia through a Q&A discussion. Staff, students and the local community are welcome to attend this free showing of what promises to provide a captivating experience.