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World Cup 2014: Forget the Matches, Google doodle wants you to remember the favelas

World Cup 2014: Forget the Matches, Google doodle wants you to remember the favelas

Posted by Shanelle Weir on June 19, 2014

Google has marked the seventh day of the 2014 Fifa World Cup with a doodle highlighting Brazil's favelas, perhaps one of the starkest signs of inequality within the country.

The search engine giant's 2014 World Cupit has taken “inspiration from the streets of Rio straight to the homepage” for this particular doodle, and has featured the original sketch by artist Matt Cruickshank in its archive.

Rio de Janeiro is home to Rocinha, the largest and most populous favela in Brazil, where thousands of homes are packed together across the sprawling neighbourhood.

The animated image shows the green ‘l’ in Google kicking a football against a stationary ‘e’ in the middle of the country’s famous slums, which are shown in vivid blues, reds and yellows.

Brazil is one of the most economically unequal countries in the world, with a tenth of its citizens earning half of the national income. In 2010, six per cent of the population, or 11.4 million people, were registered as living in slums while 8.5 per cent of people in the country are believed to be living below the poverty line. To put that number in perspective, more people live in slums than the population of London, Birmingham and Manchester combined.

Despite the extreme poverty associated with favelas, they have developed their own dynamic culture, with music, art and graffiti playing a big role in life there. Favela life has become the subject of various pieces of art and photography, and has inspired works of art in many other parts of the world.

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