Sao Paulo - Beyond the Arena

Sao Paulo - Beyond the Arena

Itaquera is the district in the eastern outskirts of Sao Paulo which will host the opening match of the FIFA 2014 World Cup. Although close to half a million U S dollars has been spent in the construction of a new stadium, Arena Itaquera, and approximately thirty percent of it's cost has been granted by Sao Paulo in the form of tax incentives, part of Itaquera's impoverished population still lack basic infrastructure in the areas of housing and sanitation.
In May 2014, taking advantage of the spotlight on the World Cup, more than 4,000 homeless families occupied over 150 kilometers of unused land, focusing attention on their living conditions. On the other hand, Itaquera emerging middle class use the local shopping center as their main leisure area, though the region offers some options for outdoor leisure such as Sesc Itaquera and Parque do Carmo, used mostly by children skating, playing football or flying kites. Built according to so-called "Fifa Standard", the sumptuous new stadium stands out in stark contrast to its surroundings, figuring as a metaphor for social inequality in Brazil.

by contributor Gustavo Gomes

Itaquera is the district in the eastern outskirts of Sao Paulo which will host the opening match of the FIFA 2014 World Cup. Although close to half a million U S dollars has been spent in the construction of a new stadium, Arena Itaquera, and approximately thirty percent of it's cost has been granted by Sao Paulo in the form of tax incentives, part of Itaquera's impoverished population still lack basic infrastructure in the areas of housing and sanitation.
In May 2014, taking advantage of the spotlight on the World Cup, more than 4,000 homeless families occupied over 150 kilometers of unused land, focusing attention on their living conditions. On the other hand, Itaquera emerging middle class use the local shopping center as their main leisure area, though the region offers some options for outdoor leisure such as Sesc Itaquera and Parque do Carmo, used mostly by children skating, playing football or flying kites. Built according to so-called "Fifa Standard", the sumptuous new stadium stands out in stark contrast to its surroundings, figuring as a metaphor for social inequality in Brazil.

A man sits on a couch at People's Cup occupation in Itaquera district on May 29, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In May 2014, taking advantage of the spotlight on the World Cup, more than 4,000 homeless families occupied over 150 kilometers of unused land, focusing attention on their living conditions. A lady looks through the window of a subway car at Corinthians-Itaquera station on May 15, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A construction worker poses for a photo in the surroundings of Arena Itaquera on May 06, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Corinthians' fans arrive for a test match between Corinthians and Botafogo at Arena Itaquera on June 1st, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A man in front of a wall welcoming tourists to Brazil in Itaquera district on May 18, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. General view of Itaquera district from a ferris wheel on May 31, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A boy heads for school in a slum 1 kilometer away from Arena Itaquera on June 5, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Although close to half a million U S dollars has been spent in the construction of a new stadium, Arena Itaquera, and approximately thirty percent of it's cost has been granted by Sao Paulo in the form of tax incentives, part of Itaquera's impoverished population still lack basic infrastructure in the areas of housing and sanitation. People from homeless organizations take part in a demonstration at Radial Leste highway, in the surroundings of Arena Itaquera, on May 15,2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In May 2014, taking advantage of the spotlight on the World Cup, more than 4,000 homeless families occupied over 150 kilometers of unused land, focusing attention on their living conditions. ( Construction workers on duty in the surroundings of Arena Itaquera 37 days prior to the opening match of 2014 World Cup on May 6, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Corinthians' fans prepare barbecue in front of Arena Itaquera on MAy 31, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A man watches a demonstration by homeless people at Radial Leste highway, in the surroundings of Arena Itaquera, on May 15,2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In May 2014, taking advantage of the spotlight on the World Cup, more than 4,000 homeless families occupied over 150 kilometers of unused land, focusing attention on their living conditions. A woman walks by a construction site of a new bus terminal in Itaquera district on May 27, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A man sits in front of a tent at People's Cup occupation in Itaquera district on May 17, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In May 2014, taking advantage of the spotlight on the World Cup, more than 4,000 homeless families occupied over 150 kilometers of unused land, focusing attention on their living conditions. FIFA security members are seen at Corinthians-Itaquera station during the arrival of FIFA World Cup trophy as part of FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour on May 29, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Neighbors talk in front of their houses at Comunidade da Paz (Peace Community) slum in the close surroundings of Arena Itaquera on May 15, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Although close to half a million U S dollars has been spent in the construction of a new stadium, Arena Itaquera, and approximately thirty percent of it's cost has been granted by Sao Paulo in the form of tax incentives, part of Itaquera's impoverished population still lack basic infrastructure in the areas of housing and sanitation. Teenagers play football on a sand pitch at Parque Linear do Rio Verde in Itaquera district on May 31, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A couple have lunch at their home in an abandoned construction turned into a vertical slum on May 29, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Although close to half a million U S dollars has been spent in the construction of a new stadium, Arena Itaquera, and approximately thirty percent of it's cost has been granted by Sao Paulo in the form of tax incentives, part of Itaquera's impoverished population still lack basic infrastructure in the areas of housing and sanitation. A Neymar poster advertises underwear in a shop at Shopping Itaquera on May 31, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Corinthianos (Corinthians fans) leave the stadium after watching the first official match at Arena Itaquera on May 18, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Corinthians was defeated by Figueirense, 1-0. A man wearing a PT (Workers' Party) t-shirt works in a construction in Itaquera district on May 27, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A homeless man checks a waste container in the parking lot of Shopping Itaquera, as a kid returns home carrying a sticker album of 2014 World Cup, on May 17, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
A band plays pagode in Buena's, a local bar in Itaquera district decorated with the flags of World Cup nations, on May 31, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. People from homeless organizations take part in a demonstration at Radial Leste highway, in the surroundings of Arena Itaquera, on May 15,2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In May 2014, taking advantage of the spotlight on the World Cup, more than 4,000 homeless families occupied over 150 kilometers of unused land, focusing attention on their living conditions. Workers are seen on the construction works of a footbridge linking Corinthians-Itaquera station to Arena Itaquera on May 06, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A girl rides on a bus as men work in aconstruction site in the surroundings of Arena Itaquera on May 17, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A hostess give directions to Corinthians' fans prior to a test match between Corinthians and Botafogo at Arena Itaquera on June 1st, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Corinthians' fans celebrate a goal during a test match between Corinthians and Botafogo at Arena Itaquera on June 1st, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A minister conducts a service at International Church of God’s Grace ( Igreja Internacional da Graça de Deus), an evangelical church in Itaquera district, on May 21, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.