Portraits – Fútbol Callejero

These portraits come from a small project I did of the Colombian community in London in 2010. I focused on a football team and looked at each person’s motivations for coming here. Their reasons have been taken directly from my interviews with them without any changes.  Fútbol Callejero is a form of street football.

Name: José Luigi Montoya Guarnizo (Coach). DoB: 1964. Originally from: Palmira, Colombia. Arrived in London: 1996. Job: Supervisor in a cleaning company. Colombian team: Deportivo de Cali. English team: Chelsea.

“I come here because you know in South America it’s so difficult to find jobs, so I come to this country to looking for a better life. (…) When I come to this country, many things happened in my country, the reason I come to this country because we looking for a better life. When I come I coming alone, so the thing I was thinking every day was joining up with my family, because when I come here I coming alone, my family stay there in my country, so now my family is here so I’m happy now. That was the first thing I was looking at, the second one was to know a new culture. (…) Everyone wish to know what happen in a different country. You have the opportunity to come to Europe or America that’s the best thing everyone looking. So now, I’m happy now.

Name: Luigi Andres Montoya Sanchez. DoB: 1992. Arrived in London: 2008. Originally from: Palmira, Colombia. Student. Colombian team: Deportivo Cali. English team: Chelsea.

“My dad (José Luigi Montoya Guarnizo) came to London in 1996, and that’s why I came to London. (…) I have some hobbies, that is music. I DJ and produce my own music.”

Name: Alvaro Felipe Garnica. DoB: 1991. Arrived in London: 2007. Originally from: Cali, Colombia. Student. Colombian team: America de Cali. English team: Manchester United.

“My mum bring me to here because she wants to give me a best future. I was in Colombia like sixteen years. I didn’t like Colombia right now because it’s not a really good place, you can die anywhere.”

Name: William Antonio Gómez Montoya. DoB: 1964. Arrived in London: 2002. Originally from: La Virginia, Colombia. Job: Cleaner Colombian team: Atletico Nacional English team: Chelsea.

“I’m come here for a better life.”

Name: Mauricio Clavijo. DoB: 1985. Arrived in England: 2000. Originally from: La Virginia, Colombia. Job: Bus driver. Colombian team: Pereira. English team: Chelsea.

“I came over to the UK when I was fifteen to live with my dad, who had been living here for the past five years. I didn’t see him for four years, then he came back home. We decided to come here as obviously I would have more opportunities in life. Coming here was a bit of a challenge for me, I hardly spoke any English, but I picked it up very quickly”.

Name: Herty Lobaton. DoB: 1992. Arrived in London: 2000. Originally from: Lima, Peru. Student. Peruvian team: Alianza Lima. English team: Arsenal.

“We came for a better future.”

Name: Alexander Muñoz Motato. DoB: 1974. Arrived in London: 2000. Originally from: Palmira, Colombia. Job: Manager in a cleaning and maintenance company. Colombian team: Nacional. English team: Chelsea.

“I just come here to study. I like this country. I want to stay here for a long time, and now I’m resident”.

Name : Andrés Clavijo. DoB: 1992. Arrived in London:1997. Originally from: La Virginia, Colombia. Student. Colombian team: Pereira. English team: Arsenal.

“The education is a lot better here”.

Name: Jonathon Vanegas. DoB: 1982. Arrived in London: 1994. Originally from: Manizales, Colombia. Job: IT. Colombian team: Once Caldas. English team: Arsenal.

“I got to England with my parents. They brought me at a very young age, when I was 12 years old. I’ve been here ever since. I like the country, I like the culture.”

Name: Luis Enrique Marmolejo (Referee). DoB: 1968. Arrived in London: 1994. Originally from: La Virginia, Colombia. Job: Buildings Manager. Colombian team: America de Cali. English team: Manchester United.

“The reason I came here is.., I travelling from my country to find a good future for my family”.

Name: Geiler Motato Ramires (Fútbol Callejero league organiser). DoB: 1962. Arrived in London: 1996. Originally from: Cali, Colombia. Job: Vending machine operator. Colombian team: America de Cali. English team: Manchester United.

“The reason why I am here in London or England is because I want to change my life and to find better life.”

A short multimedia piece related to this series of portraits can be seen at http://vimeo.com/13730519

If you are interested in using any of these images please contact me. All photographs copyright Raphael Schutzer-Weissmann. Any use requires explicit authorisation. Thank you.

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