Matthew Niederhauser's project "The Real World Cup" examines the largesse of the recent World Cup in Brazil by examining its actual impact on local communities and urban infrastructure in host cities around the country. The Brazilian government has been criticized for using the country’s love for the game to cover up increasing social inequalities and corruption on a mass scale. Niederhauser's reporting and photography offer an alternative narrative that not only revels in the spectacle of the World Cup but also provides wry observations along the way. It shows how the games affect Brazilians outside the bright lights and media circus in the stadiums.
Depending on the day, Niederhauser is an artist, photojournalist, or filmmaker. His interest in the arts and social documentary flourished during his studies at Columbia University where he immersed himself in the anthropology department. It led to many trips around the world and his thesis on urban development and cultural tourism in Tibet. After graduating he split time researching for the National Committee on US-China Relations and assistant teaching at the International Center of Photography before returning to China to commit himself to documentary projects and other creative outlets.
Since then, Matthew's photography investigating youth culture and urban development appeared in The New Yorker, National Geographic, Guardian Observer, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and Wired among many others. His feature-length directorial debut, "Kapital Creation" (currently in post-production), is a documentary examining the urban explosion of Beijing through the eyes of artists, musicians, writers, and architects. Most recently Matthew earned his MFA in Interdisciplinary Art Practice through the School of Visual Arts, which allowed him to continue his studies while continually traveling abroad for various projects.