"In 2010, when the World Cup came to Africa for the first time, the Belgium-based photographer set out to see what soccer looked like far from the bright lights and big stadiums. What she found—over seven months, ten countries, and 12,500 miles—was a grassroots game where passion trumped poverty, a do-it-yourself ethic prospered, and one ball could “bring happiness to an entire village.”"
As Jessica traveled from village to village, she would offer store-bought soccer balls in exchange for the balls the children had created from rags, socks, tires, bark, plastic bags, rubber, string and anything else they could spin together.
“Soccer is the most democratic sport in the world,” she says. “It’s accessible to everyone. The people I met do so much with so little. It’s easy to look at a tattered ball and feel sadness. My aim was to make you look at the ball and feel uplifted.” -Jessica Hilltout
Photos via www.photographicmuseum.com