Arts + Culture

The Anti-World Cup Graffiti Popping Up On Brazilian Streets

Look at our collection of anti-world cup and anti-FIFA graffiti protesting the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

With the 2014 World Cup taking place in less than two weeks, anti-government sentiment among the Brazilian people has reached a fever pitch.  The glaring need for social infrastructure in the education, healthcare and transportation sectors of Brazil has been supplanted in the name of giving a facelift to the 12 cities where matches are to be held. The Brazilian taxpayers’ fear of being stuck with the World Cup's $11 billion price tag has been realized most noticeably with an increase in the cost of living since winning the hosting bid in 2007.


In addition to uncompleted development projects, events surrounding Brazil 2014 have been marred by the Brazilian government’s gross mismanagement of funds meant for urban redevelopment (which has been questioned time  and again) , limitations placed on small businesses in favor of corporate sponsors like Coke and McDonalds, the marginalization of Afro-Brazilianspolice brutality and forceful evictions in an increasingly overpriced housing market that has left thousands of Brazilians, including indigenous communities in limbo.

In protest, Brazilians have utilized multiple means of social activism and organizing to ensure that their discontent with the government’s extravagance does not go unnoticed — political graffiti being one of them. Street artists have taken the realities of the Brazilian people in the run up to the World Cup and transformed them into compelling images which cannot be ignored by the thousands of tourists who will soon be descending on their country. Click through the gallery above for a sampling of a few of the murals that sum up the popular feelings of Brazilians towards the World Cup.

[All images via r/graffiti]

Interview
Photo: Jolaoso Adebayo.

Crayon Is Nigeria's Prince of Bright Pop Melodies

Since emerging on the scene over two years ago, Crayon has carved a unique path with his catchy songs.

During the 2010s, the young musician Charles Chibuezechukwu made several failed attempts to get into a Nigerian university. On the day of his fifth attempt, while waiting for the exam's commencement, he thought of what he really wanted out of life. To the surprise of the thousands present, he stood up and left the centre, having chosen music. "Nobody knew I didn't write the exam," Charles, who's now known to afro pop lovers as Crayon, tells OkayAfrica over a Zoom call from a Lagos studio. "I had to lie to my parents that I wrote it and didn't pass. But before then, I had already met Don Jazzy and Baby Fresh [my label superiors], so I knew I was headed somewhere."

His assessment is spot on. Over the past two years Crayon's high-powered records have earned him a unique space within Nigeria's pop market. On his 2019 debut EP, the cheekily-titled Cray Cray, the musician shines over cohesive, bright production where he revels in finding pockets of joy in seemingly everyday material. His breakout record "So Fine" is built around the adorable promises of a lover to his woman. It's a fairly trite theme, but the 21-year-old musician's endearing voice strikes the beat in perfect form, and when the hook "call my number, I go respond, oh eh" rolls in, the mastery of space and time is at a level usually attributed to the icons of Afropop: Wizkid, P-Square, Wande Coal.

"My dad used to sell CDs back in the day, in Victoria Island [in Lagos]," reveals Crayon. "I had access to a lot of music: afrobeat, hip-hop, Westlife, 2Face Idibia, Wizkid, and many others." Crayon also learnt stage craft from his father's side hustle as an MC, who was always "so bold and confident," even in the midst of so much activity. His mother, then a fruit seller, loved Igbo gospel songs; few mornings passed when loud, worship songs weren't blasting from their home. All of these, Crayon says, "are a mix of different sounds and different cultures that shaped my artistry."

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