On May 10, Brazilian artist Paulo Ito posted this mural on the doors of a schoolhouse in São Paulo’s Pompeia district. Less than a week later, it has become an international sensation, drawing huge attention on Facebook. It has also taken off in Brazil—a post on the popular Facebook page TV Revolta has been shared and liked more than 40,000 times.*
I first saw the image when The Nation’s Dave Zirin posted it on Twitter. The portrait of a weeping, starving Brazilian child with nothing to eat but a soccer ball is so simple and evocative that you don’t need to know much about Brazil to wrap your head around it. All you have to understand is that despite massive gains made over the past decade, poverty levels are still appallingly high, and the World Cup is costing the nation billions of dollars that could be spent elsewhere.
“You won’t allow me to go to school.
I won’t become a doctor.
One day you will be sick.”
Poem written by an 11 year old Afghan girl
This poem was recorded in a NYT magazine article about female underground poetry groups in Afghanistan. An amazing article about the ways in which women are using a traditional two line poetry form to express their resistance to male oppression, their feelings about love (considered blasphemous).
AIDS has taken more lives in New York City than in Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland combined. Even now, AIDS kills 15,000 in the US each year; in Germany and the UK, fewer than 800. America’s greater suffering is due to the cost of healthcare; the clustering of high-risk populations; the stigmas attached to AIDS and to drug abuse. “We’re a much bigger, much more complex, and much more unjust country”