12th Man – Cities on the Edge

Tabitha Jussa
MetQuarter Shopping Centre

Reviewed by Megan Agnew

Photographer Tabitha Jussa’s latest exhibition, 12th Man – Cities on the Edge is quietly situated on the lower floor of the MetQuarter Shopping Centre, unobtrusive and compact. Subject and setting could not be more different; Jussa has set out on a photographic exploration of the passions and obsessions of football supporters – loud, local and loyal. In Liverpool, this has provided Jussa with an ongoing project, and this particular exhibition comes as a response to her study of the deep-rooted football culture that runs through Merseyside.

12th Man portrays four European cities and their culture, through the football fans. The artist has chosen cities that have something in common with Liverpool: all are port cities, and all are what she describes as ‘edgy’, with something different to offer. The football matches she attended for the project were those of Werder Bremen (Germany), Lechia Gdansk (Poland), L’Olympique de Marseille (France) and SSC Napoli (Italy). Jussa wonders if the fans would offer a unique insight into the city’s culture, as the fans do in Liverpool. The results are a set of stunningly visual portraits, where the emotion and intensity; the passion of the game is embedded in the faces, the clenched fists, the eyes of the subjects.

One immediately senses the camaraderie and emotions that pulses through these images. Being part of a team is like being part of one big family. Jussa allows the viewer to become a part of that through this original and exciting project.

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