Photo Essay Documents Crowds Watching the World Cup
Jane Stockdale captures spectators and emotions in venues across Brazil
Writer Damian Platt claims Brazil hosted one of the happiest, most exciting World Cups ever. For those of us who watched from countries afar will have to take his word for it.
The games were unpredictable, shocking and exciting. Spectators around the world watched in anticipation from the comforts of their homes or at the local pub after an early morning wakeup call. Whether we were with friends or strangers, most people openly yearned to experience the tournament for themselves in the heart of the stadium.
Photographer Jane Stockdale, alongside Platt and creative studio Enjoythis, captured the crowds in Brazil as they tuned into the sporting events watched by almost half of the global population. The photo essay entitled, yes, “Watching the World Cup,” is a journey across environments and emotions as fans watched the latest game in public spaces from the beach to bus stations, local shops, hospitals or supermarkets.
In his storytelling, Platt describes the tumultuous violence that infected communities outside of the vibrant beaches in the Zona Sul neighborhood in 2014, and the emotions captured by Stockdale range from extreme joy to fear to despair. With Brazil in the spotlight, authorities deployed public security officials and armed troops for US $855 million. When the crowds erupted in celebration, security guards were aware and alert of the potential threats that could ensue.
Platt mentions the magnitude of shootouts that made it a particularly troubled year, but also highlights the positive ramifications of the Brazil games, which bring cheer and celebration to the streets. Photos demonstrate children and adults alike who parade in the number 10 jersey to support national hero Neymar. Stockdale’s project brilliantly depicts the varying experience between civilians and their armed protectors, who equally want to enjoy the game.
But the World Cup isn’t simply about the soccer, but also about the party and the afterparty. Stockdale flocked to Copacabana beach to document the space filled with locals and tourists alike who enjoy beers and Caipirinhas while games played on a massive outdoor screen.
The buildup and result of the Argentina versus Germany final captures the power within the game. Stockdale photographs older and young crowds who cry in disbelief, and Platt goes as far as to describe the beach as a “battleground” after Argentina’s loss.
Not all of the foreigners who flocked to Brazil were able to make it to the stadiums. Some were just attracted to the potent energy throughout the country for the entirety of the month. It was estimated that 600,000 fans gathered in smaller towns across the country to watch wherever would house them.
Watching the World Cup turns the camera away from the soccer players and onto the crazed spectators in a raw portrayal of the emotional roller-coaster of the world’s most-loved sport.