85 days & counting…
with only 85 days remaining until the world cup, a few semi-recent news articles of note to “wet your whistle”, as it were.
the london review of books looks at the politics behind FIFA’s choice of stadium locations, and questions if the tournament will be anything other than a celebration for the elite:
The city had also wanted originally to locate the stadium in a black or Coloured area, both in order to encourage investment and jobs and to make it easier for the poor to attend matches. This immediately went out the window when the Fifa inspection team, headed by Franz Beckenbauer, visited Cape Town. One of the criteria they laid down was that the stadium should have ‘fine mountain views’. The team toured the poor areas, assumed the city had to be joking about choosing anywhere so obviously ugly and unsafe, and plumped for Green Point, an affluent white area with fine sea and mountain views and many good restaurants.
meanwhile, the new york times follows passengers on cape town’s new bus rapid transit system, and concludes that not much has really changed, as white suburbanites grumble about the “hastily and ill-conceived routes” that transport their very own black housekeepers and nannies, often many hours, to work, while the telegraph reports that residents of shanty towns throughout south africa are planning to protest the massive government expenditure on the games, which has come at the expense of any apparent attempt to better the living conditions of local citizens.
as june 11 approaches, media coverage will only intensify. the Twenty Ten project is looking to change the way that africa itself is portrayed in the media, aiming to offer african journalists “the opportunity to present their own view of African reality, as opposed to depending on foreign news organizations.” following workshops attended by 108 journalists from 34 nations, 18 were selected as the “dream team,” and will be headed to south africa to report on the games. bem-vindo!