What’s Up World? #29

Published on MTV’s international pro-social website MTV Voices on 15.05.13

What’s Up World?
Between the cracks of the world’s news headlines


Do the passinho

Where organized crime, drugs, gangs and guns used to rule, a new dance is reclaiming the streets of favelas across Rio de Janeiro.

The passinho, or ‘little step’,  is a mash up of traditional Brazilian dance styles like samba, pagode and frevo, with elements of pop, funk and breakdancing.

Using social media and video platforms like YouTube, the young people of Rio are being influenced by dance styles in Africa, London and Paris; they’re making up their own steps and birthing a whole new dance scene. And it’s pretty damn cool!

Forced labour and the FIFA World Cup

As the football/soccer fans amongst us will know, Qatar is gearing up to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. But as their $150 billion construction program gets under way, trade unions and human rights groups around the world are calling foul.

The region’s labour laws follow the kafala system, which is used in Qatar and other wealthy, fast-developing gulf states to recruit laborers from India and other countries in South and Southeast Asia. Under the sponsorship system, it’s commonplace for employers to confiscate workers’ passports, effectively preventing them from leaving the country, changing jobs or complaining against employer abuse.

Human Rights Watch are calling for the kafala system to be abolished, holding Qatar to the promises they made during their World Cup bid to improve conditions for their 1.2 million migrant workers.

Qatar’s ruler, Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, plans to make the country into a major Arab power, using the world’s most widely viewed sporting event to raise Qatar’s global profile. But the International Trade Union Confederation has started putting pressure on FIFA to take a re-vote to find another host nation.

Print your face off

It seems that leaving less of your DNA around town might be a good plan. That’s less chewing gum, less used tissues, less hair follicles, less cigarette butts, less spit…

Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg has developed a method, using items such as these and the now famous 3D printer, to recreate human faces with freakish accuracy. The results are creepy, fascinating and pretty scary all at the same time.

The 3D portraits are part of a new exhibition drawing attention to the issue of genetic surveillance – that is, the collection and cataloging of DNA by governments and authorities.

And finally, just to make you smile

In case this hasn’t shown up in any of your social media feeds as yet, the most genius use of Vine thus far: Ryan Gosling Wont East His Cereal. Enjoy.

Something brewing in your part of the world? We want to know about it. Tweet @its_alicia or @mtvvoices using the hashtag #WhatsUpWorld.