So I've been working with London's quidditch team, the Unspeakables over the last few months, putting together a long-term photo documentary project about this new sport and the culture that's sprung up around it.
"What is quidditch?" I've been asked, a lot, from several different angles, including people I've pitched to for funding. People who don't usually email back. Incredulous people. People who didn't read Harry Potter, apparently. I've actually not read all the Harry Potters. That seems not to matter. It's a separate entity now. "Wait, so someone made that into a real thing?"
They did! Two guys in Vermont formulated the rules of what's properly called "muggle quidditch" in 2005 and we're up to the eighth iteration of said rules right now. Which includes a gender balance rule to include no more than four players of one (self-identified) gender per team on the playing field at any given time.
I don't like to talk about projects before they're finished, but EQC seems like a good place to take a breather, call it the end of "Phase One" of the project, and see what I've got so far, what kind of narratives emerge, and how best to proceed with it from here. Honestly, it's mostly been a lot of fun. I can't thank the Unspeakables enough for letting me come to their Saturday training sessions and asking dumb questions.
And because you're obviously wondering, the rules are outlined on the muggle quidditch Wikipedia page, but it's a game best learned up close. It's sort of like rugby with broomsticks: full contact, incredibly full-on, and pretty dangerous. I'll be playing a match soon; I'll make sure to upload some photos of the damage.
There are more photos from EQC 2015 on the Unspeakables' Facebook page.