TORONTO – A painting of a starving child with soccer ball on his plate has gone viral.
Brazil’s street artist Paulo Ito created the mural on a school in Sao Paulo earlier this month ahead of the World Cup in the country this summer.
Images of the artwork have already been shared on Facebook alone more than 50,000 times.
“People already have the feeling and that image condensed this feeling,” Ito told Slate in an interview. “The truth is there is so much wrong in Brazil that it is difficult to know where to start.
“I didn’t mean [to say] nobody is doing anything against poverty,” said Ito. “But we need to show the world or ourselves that the situation is still not good.”
Many Brazilians are angry at the billions spent to host the World Cup. Protesters have said the government should focus spending instead on improving Brazil’s woeful health, education, security and infrastructure systems.
On May 16, demonstrators blasted the billions spent to host next month’s soccer tournament and said they wanted to draw attention to what they called a lack of investment to improve poor public services.
“We are beginning to gain strength to go against the injustices of the World Cup,” Luana Gurther, a social sciences student told The Associated Press. “We are the ones who should decide where the public money goes. More funding for schools, hospitals, housing, transportation- not the Cup.”
Other groups, like Homeless Workers Movement, claim that many people have been forced out of their homes because of rising rents in the neighbourhood around the new stadium.
– with files from The Associated Press
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