Urban Salon is an interdisciplinary London-based seminar series that I organise with a few other colleagues (see the web site here: http://theurbansalon.org). As part of the series, I am organising a seminar that examines the experiences of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, juxtaposed with the experiences of Asian mega-events (China, Korea and Japan). More details can be found below and on the above Urban Salon web site:
Cities of Spectacle and Mega-events: Analysing the Symbolic Economy of Mega-events
PAR.LG.03, Parish Building, London School of Economics and Political Science, London WC2A 2AE (view LSE Maps)
Brazil has recently hosted the two most important so-called mega-events, FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games. As all governments before, Brazilian officials have justified the hosting as an “opportunity” to “promote” Brazilian “image” and enhance its “status” in the global space. The caution quotes indicate that all these terms are taken for granted, without the necessary analysis. Bearing that in mind, the aim of this presentation will be as follows:
1) to understand the condition of production and circulation of images in the mega-events. It will be shown how FIFA and IOC have recently enhanced efforts to control the production and circulation of images and to expand its zone of control, both in terms of physical space and media;
2) to recognise the specificity of the Brazilian experience focusing on the “image” of Brazil the government tried to propose and the kind of symbolic production it implied. It will be shown that this “image” has been thought as a specific kind, dictated by the marketing and branding;
3) to understand the disputes around this “image” and the conditions of this dispute according to the media-space of mega-events.
Discussants are to respond to the above talk, reflecting upon their own research on mega-events in Brazil, China, Korea and Japan.