Simon Heger Knudsen’s (b. 1993) Ball is an exploration of football culture in the Mozambique city of Maputo,
depicted through the lens of the Danish photographer. Undertaken in the fall of 2017, Ball seeks to investigate
and uncover how football can act as means of communication across age and origin, influencing and improving
the lives of those who participate in the game and its circumferential culture. In his approach to Ball, Heger
Knudsen sought to capture the kids of Maputo’s football fields as protagonists in a photographic narrative.
Rather than portraying the game itself, Heger Knudsen’s motivation was to document the daily affairs of any
average football field in a nation on the South-East tip of Africa. Heger Knudsen was raised with football culture
since his early childhood. Going to Mozambique, he packed a bag with his most prized jerseys from youth
for the kids of the Mozambican football fields—holding an inherently sentimental value to Heger Knudsen as
memorial objects, the iconic noughties jerseys also had an aesthetic esteem in the photographer’s childhood
remembrances. Deciphered as a partial allure to his own childhood, the photographs of the Maputo football kids
serve as testament to the most intangible yet incremental quality of football: how it can affect and improve the
lives of those who play it for the better—the most beautiful game.