Pub Footy

J Forsyth

2015 - Ongoing

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Australian life comes in many different forms. I chose to be a part of the Renegade Pub Football League (Pub Footy) for its inclusive, modern and community minded take on AFL, a staple of my up-bringing in rural Australia. AFL, historically is not an inclusive sport.

As a child I played for 6 years in a boys team as no girls teams existed. Every year my parents fought the league to keep me playing. I wasn’t allowed to play after 14 years of age, a story common for many women of my age group.

As I got older, I moved away from sport, becoming disenfranchised by the sexism ingrained in AFL. In my late 20’s I joined the pub footy league. Each team is affiliated with a pub or live music venue in the inner north of Melbourne.

I fell in love with the league and its constant effort to welcome people of any gender identity, sexual orientation, race, culture, religion, or skill-level. I started documenting each round, the crowd, the teams and taking portraits of each player to create trading cards. During each round the league raises money for a different charity via a community bbq while a crowd of families, hipsters, footy fans and doggo’s watch and enjoy the inclusive atmosphere.

I have taken 1000’s of photos, often with a beer in my hand. I strive to convey the happy, vibrant and inclusive nature of a community of people coming together to have fun, drink some beers, listen to music and play a little sport in-between.

My name is J, I am a professional photographer. In my arts practice I document the world around me. My images are as simple (and as complex) as my one-letter first name.

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  • Abi is chaired off after being named Best On Ground

  • The Unicorns celebrate (the usual) lose by singing their song and having a 'beer shower' in the change rooms after the game

  • Coach talks to the players with the team being held up behind. The team is written on the inside of a beer carton

  • Mates embrace

  • Time for a dart

  • Eye Gougers players celebrate and sing their song after a win

  • Players hug after a win

  • Coach and Rosco read a story to the players at half time. Coach is a primary school teacher

  • Salty(right) removed her jumper on field to stop the bleeding of her team mate (left)

  • Before the game, dressed as a Unicorn

  • Fyfe 'not a cunt' t-shirt was worn during the plebiscite debate in Australia in support of the queer community

  • Player posed for footy card photo wearing an Indigenous flag t-shirt

  • Players welcome the next team on to the ground

  • Players from different teams chat and pose for a photo

  • Happy Birthday

  • Crowd on a wet winters day

  • Player poses for footy card photo

  • Uncle Bill performs the Welcome to Country showing the players the origins of AFL come from the indigenous game Marngrook

  • Rosco, always in a onsie or costume climbs the fence to pose for his footy card photo

  • The Unicorns run onto the field through a banner before the game