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Thursday 23 February 2017, 18.00 - 20.00
PAR.LG.03, Parish Building, London School of Economics and Political Science, London WC2A 2AE (view LSE Maps)
Free, no booking necessary 
Cities of Spectacle and Mega-events: Analysing the Symbolic Economy of Mega-events

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.

  • Dr Michel Nicolau (Speaker; UNICAMP, Brazil)
  • Dr Jaeho Kang (Discussant; Centre for Media Studies, SOAS)
  • Dr Tomoko Tamari (Discussant; Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, Goldsmiths, University of London)
  • Dr Hyun Bang Shin (Chair and Discussant; Geography and Environment, LSE)
Speaker biography:
Michel Nicolau is Professor of Sociology at UNICAMP, Brazil, and Director of the Postgraduate Programme in Sociology. As Urban Studies Foundation International Fellow, Michel is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science. From his previous research on music industry, he has published two books Msica Brasileira e Identidade Nacional na Mundializao (2009) e O Discurso da Diversidade e a World Music (2014) and several articles. More recently he has centred his research on new forms of production of national identity in globalization and the importance of mega-events for that matter.

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