Waving Flags: Toronto’s World Cup Frenzy

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Waving Flags: Toronto’s World Cup Frenzy

The Rivoli Lounge
June 6th – July 10th, 2010

Joseph Michael is a commercial photographer based in Toronto, Canada. His images appear on album covers, web pages, newspapers, magazines, and even sometimes, walls.

Joseph completed his Master’s Degree in Photography (M.S.) from S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication from Syracuse University. In 2001 he graduated from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana with a B.A. in the Program for Liberal Studies.

He is a citizen of both Canada and the United States. Joseph has lived and worked in five continents.

He plans on covering the 2010 World Cup in Toronto much the same way he did in 2006.

About this series: Waving Flags: Toronto’s World Cup Frenzy

The following photos were taken between June 9th and July 9th, 2006 within the Greater Toronto Area. Each photo captures fans of one of the 32 countries that played in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Designed to show the diversity of Canada’s largest city, Joseph Michael contacted bars, embassies, and individuals to find out where one or more fans of each country were going to view their teams play.

All images were taken during a live television broadcast of a World Cup game, with the exception of one country where a re-broadcast was used. As a result, all of the the reactions and passions within the photos are live and on location, not recreated or staged after or before the event.

Joseph Michael logged over 800 kms and 3500 photos in his journey around the Greater Toronto Area. He believes he is one of the few photographers, if not the only one, to have visited and watched live games with fans from each country in the 2006 World Cup.

This project presents an alternative to typical Toronto World Cup photos; that is, fans waving flags in the street or viewers caught frozen with a flash. The images in this project use only the natural light provided so as not to interfere with those watching the games or the environment itself. As a result, many of the images are dark, due to the limited light available in darkened viewing areas. Some photos are blurry, due to the frenzy of the games most exciting moments. Joseph Michael felt this was the only way to take truly authentic pictures of viewers watching the World Cup.

Joseph believes Toronto is one of the few cities in which this project could have been completed. Most remarkable is that of the 32 nations in the 2006 World Cup, some of Toronto’s largest ethnic communities, such as the Irish, Chinese, Greek, Indian and Pakistani, are not represented.

To view photos of Toronto fans cheering for all 32 countries in the 2006 World Cup, please visit World Cup in Toronto.

— Joseph Michael April 2010

For Joseph Michael’s website, please check out josephmichael.ca

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