“Forgotten Team” is a photography exhibition and a video by Mohamed Badarne in solidarity with all 2022 FIFA World Cup workers.
This visual storytelling project puts the spotlight on the lives of migrant working people who have been laying the groundwork for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Without them — the forgotten team — this mega sport event with all the new stadiums, hotels, and transport networks could not take place. Thousands of men and women from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, and other places set out to make a better living, but they have encountered harsh working conditions and even death.
“While the world prepares to celebrate the football world cup, the deaths of so many workers remain unaccounted for. The world must bring justice to us before the dirty game begins!” says Nirmala Tamang, who lost her husband in a construction work accident.
Over a five-year period, between 2017 and 2022, Mohamed Badarne visited Qatar and Nepal several times to meet with workers and their families, and to capture their stories and the injustice they suffered. It shows them in Qatar — at work and in their private spaces — and after their return home. It also portrays families whose loved ones died there, as well as local initiatives that seek accountability and compensation.
Now is the time to hold Qatar and FIFA accountable for the violations of the workers’ rights. But the 2022 FIFA World Cup is neither the beginning, nor will it be the end of the ongoing exploitation of working people in search for a life in dignity for themselves and their families.
Unless we change the game.
—Salah Saouli, curator, “Forgotten Team”
See more images from the Forgotten Team here.