Alternate Realities Commission: Feminist Economics Football

Three people stand against a background of green foliage. They're linking arms whilst wearing brightly coloured football bibs.

In collaboration with Site Gallery, we are thrilled to announce our 2022 Alternate Realities commission: Feminist Economics Football: A Cooperative Game for Sheffield. The work will be ‘played’ and filmed at the 29th edition of the festival taking place 23 – 28 June and will generate a new screen-based artwork to be installed at Site Gallery during the Women's Euros 2022. The Alternate Realities Commission is supported by funding from Arts Council England.

We invite audiences to come and watch the game unfold on 23 June 2022 and details of the match will be announced soon. The Feminist Economics Football: A Cooperative Game for Sheffield film will premiere after the festival at Site Gallery.

Alternate Realities is curated by Francesca Panetta.

About Feminist Economics Football: A Cooperative Game for Sheffield

Feminist Economics Football: A Cooperative Game for Sheffield was created by Ailie Rutherford, Sapna Agarwal and Mandy Roberts for the Feminist Exchange Network.

The concept of Three-Sided Football was conceived by situationists in 1962 who imagined a game played by three teams on a hexagonal pitch where some sort of fluid collaboration was essential and where co-operation was more important than competition.

“Our feminist response, a participatory artwork, was devised and created quickly and spontaneously in response to shifts in social and collaborative arts practice through the covid pandemic as the ways we had worked together began to feel impossible. Throughout the pandemic we quickly saw profit making ventures and competitive sport prioritised as essential activity. Games of football, particularly in the wake of the European cup in Glasgow (still largely a male dominated activity) had been given primacy. We began to think about how we might reorganise our work in the form of a football match, and the idea for Feminist Economic Football: A Cooperative Game was born.

"The hexagonal pitch was marked out and three teams recruited but the rules collectively re-written. The cooperative match played between three teams: Degrowth, Decolonisation and Climate Action, was a playful way of looking at how a truly feminist approach to economics can’t function without all of these aspects intersecting. Played as a game of three thirds, each goal was described as a gift. If a team, or players from two teams, brought a goal to the third team’s net, they were offering something from their principles that they thought that team would benefit from. Coaches for each team then took on the role of commentator, to bring theoretic insight into the goals and motivation for scoring them.

"For Alternate Realities, Feminist Economic Football presents the adjacent possibility of a world founded on cooperation, where we work together to create a socially and environmentally just society founded on the core principles of feminist economics: a process centred on the love of people not profit. The teams have been revised for Sheffield DocFest this time as Decolonisation, Ecofeminism and The Caring Economy.  

"Diverse communities and local football clubs are being invited to take part and we hope to bring together women* and non-binary people from across Sheffield. The training session for the players and the match itself will be documented by a filmmaker to be shown in Sheffield’s Site Gallery after the festival and Sheffield”.

Images: Feminist Economics Football, Feminist Exchange Network, Glasgow, 2021


Image removed.


About the Match and sign-up here

If you’re interested in playing Feminist Economics Football we want to hear from you. We’re seeking women* who are available during the day on Thursday 23 June to take part in training sessions and the match itself who are happy to be filmed. Players will be paid £75 for the day.

Follow this link to express your interest. 

The deadline for expressions of interest is 30 May 2022.



About the Feminist Exchange Network 

Feminist Exchange Network (FEN) is a women* led collective working out of Glasgow, Scotland. FEN use social and activist arts practices to explore how ideas of feminist economics can be put into practice at a local level, pushing for a radically different economic model and alternatives to capitalism.

*inclusive of transgender and intersex women as well as non-binary and gender fluid people who are comfortable in a space that centres the experience of women

Sapna Agarwal

Sapna Agarwal is an artist, educator, community activist, facilitator and organiser who loves to stop and talk. She uses play, stories, texts, discussion and everyday chat to explore decoloniality,  radical care, social justice and climate issues, working primarily with young people and intergenerational groups.

She develops and runs the Woodlands Community Anti-Racist library in Glasgow, organising an on-going series of events to engage people in difficult conversations whilst building community cohesion. As a partner in the radical, independent bookshop, Aye-Aye Books, she has curated a selection of children’s books that push the voices of the marginalised to the fore, as well as forging community links so that children can have access to the books. Recent works include editing the children’s book, “What Starts Here Stops Here” as part of Hope Street Collective in response to COP26, Queer Care Camp (Studio Voltaire, London), and Reading Between the Lines (ArtLink, Edinburgh).

Mandy Roberts

Mandy Roberts is an artist, educator and creative facilitator whose practice spans visual and live art.  She is passionate about art as a tool to engage with people, using co-construction as a framework to formulate projects with communities.

A common thread throughout Mandy’s work is the use of discarded objects and materials. Exploring the everyday things that make up the common fabric of our existence. Her use of this detritus as a conduit for overcoming life’s trauma, highlighting the wider impact on society.  The resulting creations frequently have a duality generating; props, adornment and costumes for, and sometimes as part of performances.

Ailie Rutherford 

Ailie Rutherford is a visual artist working at the intersection of community activism and creative practice. Her collaborative artworks bring people together in conversations about our social and economic landscape using print, performance, sci-fi visioning, games and technology as playful means to work through difficult questions and radically re-think our shared futures. Resulting works range from proposed new models for living and working together to the building of new infrastructure. 

Her feminist economic artworks have been shown at Unbox festival, (Bengaluru, India) MoneyLab at Institute of Network Cultures (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Supermarkt (Berlin, Germany), Tracing The Tracks//Work Affair at Rum 46 (Aarhus, Denmark) White Papers on Dissent for Dutch Design Week at Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven, Netherlands) and will be shown in the Lumbung space at Documenta 15 (Kassel, Germany). She recently curated the Wired Women festival for NEoN Digital Arts (Dundee, Scotland) and is artistic director of the Feminist Exchange Network (Glasgow, Scotland) 



About Alternate Realities

Alternate Realities exhibits and showcases innovative non-fiction and immersive documentary in all forms. 

Whether using new technologies or creative techniques which break the boundaries of traditional documentary practice, the Alternate Realities programme highlights the bravest most intriguing developments in non-fiction by artists, technologists and documentarians.



About Site Gallery 

Site Gallery is Sheffield’s contemporary art space specialising in new media, moving image and performance. Pioneering emerging art practices and ideas, Site works in partnership with local, regional and international collaborators to nurture artistic talent and supports the development of contemporary art.

Site is supported by Arts Council England NPO programme and Sheffield City Council. It completed an expansion programme in 2018 which created a brand new large-scale gallery space and two dedicated Studios for events, screenings and smaller scale programmes.

Site Gallery works with early-career to established artists to commission new work, produce exhibitions, residencies, performances, events and community programmes. In recent years it has worked with artists such as Elizabeth Price (UK), Rafael Rozendaal (Netherlands), Phoebe Davies (UK), Sonya Dyer (UK), Sophia Al-Maria (US/Qatar), Georgina Starr (UK), Susan Hiller (US). 

Site runs a residency programme: Platform, currently supported by Freelands Artists Programme, which is investing in 20 artists from South Yorkshire. It runs Society of Explorers throughout the year, a peer-led young people’s group which makes unique connections with artists and gain new skills and learning.

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