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Brazilian Street Art Goes Viral

 
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tatee View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 21 2014 at 10:28am

A Brazilian Street Artist Has Created the World Cup's First Viral Image

Three weeks before the opening game of the 2014 World Cup, the tournament already has an iconic image. And FIFA is not going to like it.


Courtesy of Paulo Ito. https://www.flickr.com/photos/pauloito/13998946669

On May 10, Brazilian artist Paulo Ito posted this mural on the doors of a schoolhouse in São Paulo’s Pompeia district. Less than a week later, it has become an international sensation, drawing huge attention on Facebook. It has also taken off in Brazil—a post on the popular Facebook page TV Revolta has been shared and liked more than 40,000 times.*

I first saw the image when The Nation’s Dave Zirin posted it on Twitter. The portrait of a weeping, starving Brazilian child with nothing to eat but a soccer ball is so simple and evocative that you don’t need to know much about Brazil to wrap your head around it. All you have to understand is that despite massive gains made over the past decade, poverty levels are still appallingly high, and the World Cup is costing the nation billions of dollars that could be spent elsewhere.

“People already have the feeling and that image condensed this feeling,” the São Paulo-based Ito told me in an interview today. He says he’s never created anything so popular in his 14 years as a street artist, and was surprised by the powerful response. “The truth is there is so much wrong in Brazil that it is difficult to know where to start,” he explained via Facebook chat. “I didn't mean [to say] nobody is doing anything against poverty,” he said of the mural. “But we need to show the world or ourselves that the situation is still not good.”

Earlier this month, the populist Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff announced increases in welfare payments ahead of the World Cup and in anticipation of this October’s elections. And last year, after millions took to the streets to protest a hike in bus fares and other systemic problems including a broken health care system, the government responded quickly, abandoning the fare increase, importing doctors from Cuba, and reserving oil money for education. But in his new book Futebol Nation: The Story of Brazil Through Soccer, David Goldblatt describes that response as a half-measure, one designed to squelch the demonstrations. “It wasn’t much, but it was enough to take the sting out of the movement,” Goldblatt writes.

Ito echoed the idea that the government’s response has been largely cosmetic. He mentioned two Brazilian aphorisms: tapar o sol com a peneira and leis para inglês ver. The first means to “cover the sun with the sieve.” The second can be translated as “just for show for the English.”

Still, Ito doesn’t appreciate how his artwork has been used by conservative networks like TV Revolta to attack President Rousseff. He says the mural is a broader criticism of Brazilian society, and Rousseff—the chosen successor to populist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva—has done some good things for the poor.

Ito initially wanted to put the image outside of the 70,000-seat Itaquerão Stadium, the site of the World Cup opener. He later changed his mind, thinking that the school, in what he describes as a largely middle class part of Pompeia, was more appropriate. He says he did not want to place it in a poverty-stricken district, such as one of São Paulo’s favelas, and that he has gone out of his way to avoid posting such images in those areas.

“Two years ago I painted in an [abandoned] building and I was thinking to paint something about poverty, but when I went inside I changed my mind,” Ito told me. “They already live what I was supposed to paint.” Instead, he said, in those cases he painted what the people asked him for: football team symbols, and SpongeBob SquarePants.

*Correction, May 20, 2014: This post originally misidentified TV Revolta as a television network.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_spot/2014/05/20/paulo_ito_world_cup_a_brazilian_street_artist_has_created_the_world_cup.html

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goodm3 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote goodm3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2014 at 10:46am
“The truth is there is so much wrong in Brazil that it is difficult to know where to start,”


...truth... at least ppl won't be surprised like they were with the fiasco in Moscow. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2014 at 10:49am
This World Cup is going to be a disaster, plus a lot of people will be robbed. I read that they are cloning people's credit cards straight from ATM machines and blowing 2k at once. Brazil also has a lot of children sex trafficking, and many pedophiles will enjoy their stay thereCry
Last year, when people were doing their protest, many carried signs saying things like "with world cup we don't have schools" because there are sh*tty schools all over the country and people dying in hospitals but the stadium is supposedly costing billions yet many are not even ready.
I read an article saying that one stadium doesn't even have seats for the press and they will stay in a tent!
And that idiot Pele keeps saying things like "let's forget (whatever it is wrong with the country) and focus on the world cup".


Edited by sexyandfamous - May 21 2014 at 10:54am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2014 at 10:59am
Originally posted by goodm3 goodm3 wrote:

“The truth is there is so much wrong in Brazil that it is difficult to know where to start,”


...truth... at least ppl won't be surprised like they were with the fiasco in Moscow. 


Actually, people WILL be surprised, because many never saw the amount of children living in the streets, and when people do, and see the police violence towards them, many will be horrified. I met a French woman once who went to Rio and I asked her if she saw the street kids and she said "no, but if I had seen them, I would have cried". I don't know how she did not notice them, but she probably thought they were just poor black kids wearing ragsCry
Plus there's slum people too, and depending of the city, there's way too many slum people going hungry who will rob your shoes, since they are much more expensive there.

I hope all tourists wear Havaianas, or they will be barefoot.


I wonder if Brazil loses the world cup, if some people will turn against the tourists from the country that won and attack them. I hope not, but I think the World Cup will end with Brazil with a really bad reputation, and broker than South Africa after the WC.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote afrokock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2014 at 11:28am
Would love to visit Brazil .. São paolo But it pains me to spend money with racists

So naaah

I'd originally wanted to go but .. Naaaah

I
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2014 at 11:41am
racists?
the racism in Brazil is much more subtle than the racism in the US. And you being a foreigner there would not suffer much, because they would think you were rich.
Sao Paulo has a diverse population, but I just googled very quickly "sao paulo racism" and found a page about skinheads concentrated in Sao Paulo.
The state with most blacks is Bahia, btw.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcelo22 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2014 at 12:45pm
Lived in São Paulo for 5 months. Isn't anymore racist than America or Europe. Wouldn't say the racism is more subtle than the US either. Racism is still bad in both countries.
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