Imagina na Copa – A Story of Riot in the Face of World Cup Celebration

It’s been four years since South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup. I’m sure this hit as a stark reality for many of us at the rolling over of the new year. We were, undeniably, left with some great memories. I, for one, can think back fondly to jumping on tables in fan tents, hugging profusely when Tshabalala scored that opening goal, flying to Jozi to watch a game at Soccer City and just pretty much being as jovial as one could imagine for a month or so as the games unfolded.

There is all that and yet, if one looks critically at the legacy of the cup, what did it do for us? There was temporary employment, no doubt. There were and still are some major infrastructural advances – the MyCiti system, for instance – that surely count as long-term bonuses but, in general, the Cup left our country with major deficits and holes to fix, often to the point where we cannot really recuperate. It quite simply cost us so much to put on a spectacle for the world and now we are left to pick up the pieces.

Yazeed Kamieldien spent months in Brazil recording an 'insider's' view of the situation in Brazil ahead of the Soccer World Cup

Yazeed Kamaldien spent months in various major Brazilian cities recording an ‘insider’s’ view of the situation in Brazil ahead of the Soccer World Cup

This is even more extreme in Brazil. Think of the problems we have in this country. Now, bring them to the forefront of resistance and rebellion. You are now looking at the face of Brazil. This is dificult to explain exactly, but Brazil’s political and social landscape is basically South Africa on steroids, mainly because they voice their issues in far more dramatic fashion than what we are used to (in fact, we see a riot and automatically blame a government party, rather than the failure to address the issues that caused the riot in the first place, whether founded or not…)

This is where journalist and filmmaker Yazeed Kamaldien has got the upper hand. He was there. He witnessed uprisings first hand. And – he filmed it, using only his Canon 1100D! Stringing together 33 minutes of footage of social unrest, interviews with ‘the man on the street’ as well as public service and FIFA officials – just to be ‘fair’, I suppose – Kamaldien draws together an informed view of the disparity the Cup brings along with it. The result is a rather intricate look at the boiling point of riots in that country as they bulged out towards the end of last year to where they now sit, a mere two months away from hosting one of the biggest spectacles imaginable and the people are saying “Imagina na Copa” (Imagine during the Cup)…

The dynamic will make for interesting reading and viewing, that is, if we are made privy to such goings on instead of having our world view plastered over with all the niceties that go hand in hand with the Cup. Only time will tell exactly where Brazil will be in two months…

Kamaldien’s film premiered last week at the Labia and is now making a tour of the city as it plays at different venues. There are only another two showings for the time being, one at UCT, tonight, April 17, in the African Studies Library, and one at the District Six museum, on the 22nd. If you get a chance, try to pop in and give the film a squizz. Kamaldien does a Q&A session after the film too, where you can ask pretty much anything you like, so if you have a querying mind, bring it along. See the poster below for more info:

Imagina na Copa has played and will continue to play out at venues across the city

Imagina na Copa has played and will continue to play out at venues across the city

 

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About Baywatch Bergemann

Baywatch Bergemann is a wayward, transient academic who would rather spend his time on the beach or on a hillside than in the classroom. We're thankful for that and that he chooses to spread his wisdom here rather than anywhere else.

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