This project originally started as an exploration of identity and the inability to stereotype sport fans by their looks, but as the interview process went on, it slowly started to change. After listening to Jason talk about his childhood and his memories of what it was like growing up in the heartland of the red and green, it became apparent to me that maybe memory was the hidden thing I was supposed to be exploring. It was the little things, like his facial expressions, that had me thinking that only you, the individual, know how you felt at any given time. Sure, people can say they relate, but the two feelings may be completely different.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs, one of the oldest rugby league teams, continues to have one of the largest supporter base in the NRL. With around 32,000 members in the 2014 season alone, it is almost guaranteed that no two individuals had the same experience. If a handful of people were randomly selected to describe a game they attended or to share an experience, a large majority would have different answers.
As seen throughout the video linked above, passion and pride is one thing that Souths fans do not hide. From moments like the march to their most recent win at the grand final, the club can always count on their fans to turn up loud and proud.
“We’re a special kind of family… The red and green type” – Lauren
“We know the meaning of determination and passion. It’s been a roller coaster but it has been worth the ride” – Jackie
Growing up in Sydney’s South in the 1980’s, Jason and a lot of others were living in a suburb that had very little. Redfern was a place where housing commission was evident. Many people turned to the local football club to liven their spirits. Like today, being able to see their favourite football players meant the world to adults and children alike. I can’t imagine Redfern feeling any different back then than it does now. Walking through the streets, being engulfed by South Sydney culture, really makes you feel apart of something special.
By sharing memories and the feelings that came along with particular moments, individuals are choosing to break down barriers and no longer hide. Through this project I learnt new things about my family and the passion they have when it comes to this football team.