Chronicle of a Mess Foretold

David Goldblatt ends his exploration of the history of Brazil through its obsessive love of the beautiful game of football with the prospect of this years World Cup haunted by the shadows of last year's mass protests. Did the beautiful game die out there on the pitch or can the nation find any solace on the possibility of triumph with a round ball?

The events of June 2013 in Brazil were the largest wave of social protest the country had ever seen. At their peak demonstrations took place simultaneously in 120 cities. The crowds were overwhelmingly made up of the urban middle classes, a category that stretches from downtown junior officer workers to university professors, who were paying, in their own words, "European taxes to get Mozambiquean services" and despaired of the venality and incompetence of the police and public administration. This had all been the case for some time. Why then should the protests have erupted in June 2013?

What gave rhythm and focus to the protests was the simultaneous staging of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. What allowed the many grievances of the Brazilian public to coalesce into this public wave of outrage were the economic costs and the social impact of staging the 2014 World Cup to come?

Producer: Mark Burman.

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15 minutes

Last on

Fri 30 May 2014 13:45

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