Protestors have been taking to the streets in most cities around the country and by the look of these movements – which have been going on for over a year now – the next few months will most likely see the headlines in the world’s media highlighting both the World Cup matches and the protests.
Of course football is deeply rooted in Brazilian culture and, whether people are football fans or not, it is hard to deny Brazilians’ general passion towards it. However, Brazilian society is changing. The general positive feelings that previous World Cup tournaments generated in people’s hearts can no longer be taken for granted.
Brazilians are really angry with the amount of money that has been spent on the infrastructure to host the games, especially when there is an evident need for more government spending in health and education. In addition, the number of serious human rights violations connected to the preparations for the World Cup is terrifying.
Without wishing to spoil anyone’s enthusiasm for such a popular event, I wonder if is not already time to reflect further on FIFA’s intentions? Is it not yet clear that every four years a different host society goes through similar pains?
As a Brazilian, I feel obliged to join with those who believe that Brazilian society can improve. With that in mind, I have listed below some articles and platforms I have been accessing and learning from during the last year or so. Hopefully these can help us to understand such mega events with more clarity. They may perhaps even lead us to challenge more forcefully the ‘everything is positive’ façade of this sort of venture. Why should we not be able to build a future where sport not only respects people’s rights but also supports all of humanity to advance and develop in peace?
“Aldeia Maracanã marks 513 years of Indigenous Evictions in Brazil” by Nayana Fernandez (Mar 19, 2013)
“Brazil: Indigenous Community Evicted as 2014’s World Cup Approaches” by Nayana Fernandez (April 2, 2013)
“FIFA Beware! Journalist Teams Up with Brazil’s World Cup Victims” by Andrea Dip (May 31, 2013)
“Uprising in Brazil: An Extraordinary Moment for Change” by Nayana Fernandez (June 25, 2013)
“Why people are protesting against the World Cup” by Marina Amaral (June 26, 2013)
“Brazilian football: Rich fans only, please” By Ciro Barros and Giulia Afiune (Aug 27, 2013)
“The Never-Ending Eviction: Demolition, protest and police violence in a Rio favela” by Felicity Clarke (Jan 13, 2014)
“Brazil: World Cup security locks in repression” by Raul Zibechi (April 8, 2014)
“Força Nacional: Brazil’s New Praetorian Guard?” by Ciro Barros (May 2, 2014)
“Brazil: Favela pacification at the heart of new violence” by Jordana Timerman (May 6, 2014)
“Brazil: Why Is Blackwater helping to train the World Cup security squads?” by Dave Zirin and Jules Boykoff (May 9, 2104)
“A Brazilian Street Artist Has Created the World Cup’s First Viral Image” by Jeremy Stahl (May 20, 2014)
“World Cup 2014: 22 Staggering Images Of Brazil’s Indigenous Tribes Taking On The Riot Police With Bows And Arrows” by Jessica Elgot (May 28, 2014)
“Drought fuels World Cup blackouts fear” by Kieran Cooke (May29, 2014)
“Beautiful Game – Deep in the Brazilian Jungle, Villages Host Their Own World Cup” by John Lyons (May 30, 2014)
“Brazil’s poor stage an alternative World Cup” by Elisabeth Gorman (June 3, 2014)
Check out in London (UK):
‘Manifest-Action Brazil‘ a photography exhibition about the violations of human rights in Brazil, at the Amnesty International UK in London from 9 June – 14 July 2014 – Launch event June 16 with films screening and round table discussion.
This article was first published at Alborada / Photo: ROAR Magazine