Bangladesh, India, Nepal, you have not found these national teams in the calendar of matches for the World Cup in Qatar, but if our football idols can play it is also thanks to them, to the unwanted sacrifice of thousands of deaths that occurred during the frenetic construction stadiums and infrastructures, those same stadiums that are celebrated even in the commentary, forgetting what they caused.
Today, December 10, International Human Rights Day, we want to remember these victims, the profound injustice of these deaths at work, of underpaid and exploited people to the last to succeed in the enterprise of building the World Cup stadiums from scratch. We are passionate about football, we are passionately following the exploits of Messi and the other champions, but that doesn’t mean we intend to look the other way.
We got in touch with the Swedish organization Blankspot (https://blankspot.se/) which has created a series of cards of unfamiliar, unknown faces, but who are part of this history and this world championship. “Meat for slaughter”.
They are mostly young people, coming from the countries listed at the beginning. Blankspot didn’t limit herself to listing names, they went to the countries of origin, spoke to the families and here they got to know another aspect of the story. Of deaths at work that have not even seen “compensation” recognized to families. People who for the wealthy Qataris and for the powerful of the world behind them, starting with Fifa, counted for nothing when alive, let alone when dead.
“These workers are not just statistics. Their stories need to be heard.” The work carried out by Cards of Qatar can in some way be connected to a part of the project of our solidarity stickers. Think of those made by Patrick Zaki, Bruno Neri, Vittorio Staccione, Vittorio Bellenghi, Marcella Di Folco, Federico Aldrovandi and others. Use the immortal charm of stickers to make these stories immortal, because a few days before the end of the world championship in Qatar, not only are they not definitively shelved, but they are a warning for upcoming sporting and non-sporting events, where behind their splendor there is it is also so much misery and so many rights trampled upon.
The set consists of 12 cards, partly in English where the personal story of some of the victims is told, partly in Swedish. They are the vanguard of a much more complex work that you can find on the Swedish site, which started two years ago and will continue in the future. We invite you to visit it: https://cardsofqatar.com/en/
We want to thank Brit from Blankspot for sending us some copies of the set. The intention is to take them with us to FIGUCON on 15 January 2023 in Bologna and to show them to the public. Some sets will be put up for sale, the entire amount raised will be sent to the Swedish organization. The print of “Cards of Qatar” set has been extremely limited. A collector’s item? As are our solidarity stickers. But also a warning, a message, a story, many stories to remember, to tell.
For human rights, for civil rights, for labor rights. December 10th and every other day of the year.