Brie Welch

Professional Athlete is a documentary, which features female athletes in their fight against inequality. Current sports media is often gender biased, mostly male-dominant. The documentary is split into two screens, emphasizing the dialogue between male-dominant sports institutions and women athletes. The composition reflects the comparative gender conversation. The left side consists of found footage from the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and contains research on the league. This information highlights how the NWSL is behind its male counterpart, yet continually striving for the rights of its athletes. The right side of the screen incorporates interviews that I personally conducted as well as curated clips from professional players. For instance, United States Women’s National Team captain and star Megan Rapinoe discusses her opinions on the inequities. The interviews bring the individual to the forefront, humanizing and identifying each player, while also questioning the inequities built into the system. My aim is to increase awareness of the social constraints within women’s professional leagues and to create a sustainable future for women’s sports.

The accompanying photo book, Voices of Professional Women Athletes, highlights soccer players’ dedication to their sport. The work showcases the athletes’ struggles, their love of the sport, why they play, and their hopes for a better future in bringing the women’s game to the next level.

Professional Athlete
Single channel installation 

Voices of Professional Women Athletes
11.69” x 8.27”

Brie Welch is a contemporary digital artist whose work focuses on institutionalized gender discrimination in women’s professional soccer around the globe. Having played competitive soccer for nearly two decades and a current NCAA Division I player, Welch’s background gives personal insight on the subject. Welch’s work challenges how women are viewed in professional athletics. She utilizes the athletes’ perspectives to deconstruct the industry, bringing the individuals, who ultimately comprise and sustain such professional leagues, to the forefront.