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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.



Latest update : 2014-06-18

World Cup-inspired art

In this edition: outrage as anti-homeless spikes are spotted across London; World Cup-inspired artwork; and a French film-maker travels the globe with his football.


These pictures taken in Southwark in London and posted online on June 4th have sparked outrage in the UK. Short metal spikes have been installed on the pavement outside a luxury apartment building, to prevent it appears, homeless people from sleeping there. Many have taken to social networks voicing their outrage and anger, describing the studs as “inhumane”. Some 91,500 people have signed this online petition demanding they be removed. 

The mayor of London Boris Johnson has commented on the controversial spikes via Twitter. He describes them as “ugly, self-defeating and stupid”, adding that the city of London has spent over 34 million pounds, so around 42 million euros on schemes to tackle the issue of homelessness.

Southwark officials have said the council had nothing to do with these spikes and that they were installed by a private developer. In this open letter they promise they will do everything in the council`s power to get the studs removed or find an alternative solution. 

Local residents in Southwark meanwhile have put up signs around the spikes, slamming the initiative. As we can see here in solidarity with those forced to sleep rough, one man even posed as a homeless person, holding a sign reading “Homes not spikes”.

And sadly there are other locations in London where these spikes have been installed. Web users have been sharing shots of similar set-ups across the capital. The Labour Party has been accused of having a form of these “homeless spikes” outside its headquarters in central London. 


"Game of Thrones" author George RR Martin, joined Twitter on Monday, and although he already has some 21,000 followers, the American writer has posted just one tweet so far, saying he won`t be using the microblog very often and directing fans to his live journal blog. His Twitter debut has been warmly welcomed however with many web users hoping Martin will reconsider and get tweeting…


With his heroes and heroines project, artist Jean Christophe Deveney is asking web users to redesign some of the most famous comic book covers to replace the hero with a heroine. It’s part of his campaign for more female characters in comic books, and you can check out all the submissions on the purpose built Tumblr blog.


As is the case every four years, artists from across the globe have been drawing inspiration from the Football World Cup … and over the past few weeks’ web users have been sharing all sorts of creations online… 

Edoardo Santamato and Benedetto Papi from Italian design agency "Invasione Creativa" have given some well-known movie posters a soccer twist. The Hollywood stars have been replaced by footballers selected for the Brazil World Cup …. Including England player Wayne Rooney as James Bond … 

Brazilian illustrator Cristiano Siqueira has produced 32 posters, celebrating each team competing in the 2014 World Cup. They were commissioned by ESPN, a US based global cable and satellite television channel that focusses on sports related programming. 

British artist Dave Flanagan has focused on the players he think will stand out in this year’s competition. You can check out his minimalist creations on the online gallery

And the World Cup has also inspired musicians and singers who have been sharing their original compositions online. Fans of the French national squad for example have produced this anthem, entitled “tous ensemble pour gagner”. The track`s proving extremely popular, with the YouTube clip racking up over 216,000 views and counting…


Brazil has spent a reported 11 billion dollars plus on hosting this year`s World Cup, that`s nearly three times more than South Africa spent back in 2010. Social network WalletHub has been doing some number crunching to put together this infographic exploring the economic impact of the competition. We also learn for example that the event is expected to draw 3 million 700,000 tourists to Brazil and will generate over 4 billion dollars in revenue for FIFA. 


French film-maker Guillaume Blanchet spent two years travelling across the globe, and he always had a football in his suitcase… this video documents his travels with a spot of football in every country he visited. The clip is called “Bounce” and you can see it in its entirety on his YouTube or Vimeo page. 

By Electron Libre



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