Travelling England fan Mark Perryman looks back at South Africa's World Cup 2010. Recalling the initial media representation of the host country almost exclusively in terms of crime, disease and poverty, he describes how as the tournament unfolded the experience of being there impacted on supporters, while back home more positive images emerged as the contest unfolded. The eruption of 'Bafana-Bafana' fever is charted, and South Africa's very particular version of a unitary sports nationalism is discussed – and the ways in which this helps challenge the domination of the imperial tradition in formations of Englishness. The article also shows how for some fans the South African world cup experience offered ways of celebrating the country's culture and history, in the face of the commercial blandness of the FIFA approach.
Soundings pioneers thoughtful, critical ideas on culture, society and politics. That's why leading left thinkers from Britain, Latin America, Asia, the United States and Europe debate their ideas in our pages.
'Deeply thoughtful about the public life of politics and the intimacy of our private lives and how they interconnect. Soundings is one of the few places where you read ideas which can change your mind.' Madeleine Bunting