Football fans culture in an open society

A workshop as an accompanying thematic "walk" on the mechanisms and contradictions of an active fan culture

Under the guidance of the German-Russian exchange and in cooperation with the fans’ project in Berlin, Ingo Petz and Peter Liesegang organized a one-week workshop for young sports journalists, active fans and their managers from Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. An organizational complexity of the German football fans’ culture was clearly demonstrated there.

At the workshop one can discover an Open Society through the football fans culture, namely, participants have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the subject during conversations, meetings and visits to the stadiums. The presence of a very vivid and well-structured culture of football fans in Germany, allows participants to learn about the institutions, actors and mechanisms that emerged over the past decade due to the interaction of groups of fans, sports clubs and the state. This, in turn, might spark the participants’ interest for the idea of ​​an open society.

Especially in the context of the World Cup 2018 it is necessary to establish contacts and form associations between Eastern European football fans and the German fans’ projects, as well as within the groups of Eastern European participants. The participants of the workshops of the year 2014 might be engaged in the process.

Under the supervision of DRA two such workshops have already been held (in 2014 and in 2015). In 2014 it was a preliminary seminar under the guidance of the club "Roof for the fans." Thus, at the moment around 45 people took part in these seminars.

The workshop was funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Robert Bosch Foundation, "Die Zeit" Foundation, the Denhoff Foundation, as well as by the fans’ project in Berlin. In addition, many of the organizers carried out a significant part of the work on a voluntary basis.