Embodied Art and Aesthetic Performativity in the London Olympics Handover to Rio

By Rodanthi Tzanelli.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

I discuss the staged performances in the London 2012 handover to Rio de Janeiro as marketable revisions of Brazil’s colonial history that lead to the artistic display of ideal types and ethnic characters for global audiences. Rio 2016’s project was placed in the hands of privileged urban natives (artistic directors) but based upon the aesthetic of socio-cultural marginality (black ‘racial types’, samba dancers, capoeira and Candomblé performers, ‘bad men’). Communicating metropolitan Brazil’s attachment to European artistic narratives, the ceremony enmeshed all these types and styles into Rio’s self-presentation as a tourist ‘topos’ that was born out of past global mobilities of humans, customs and labor.

Keywords: Audio-visual Performativity, Enlightenment, Olympic Ceremonies

Global Studies Journal, Volume 6, Issue 2, April 2014, pp.13-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 549.132KB).

Dr. Rodanthi Tzanelli

Lecturer in Sociology, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds, Leeds, Yorkshire, UK

Rodanthi Tzanelli is lecturer in Sociology at the School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds. She has been Deputy Director at the Center for Ethnicity and Racism Studies, Leeds (2007-2011), and Visiting Lecturer and Research Fellow at the Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster University (April-August 2007, November 2008-September 2009). Currently, she serves as member of International Advisory Board, Ikarian Centre for Social and Political Research, Ikaria, Greece and as Associate Member at the Institute for Colonial and Post-colonial Studies, University of Leeds. Her research interests include the sociology of globalisation and tourism (with particular reference to the politics and ethics of culture industries and the relationship of film and tourist industries) and representations of deviancy (with particular reference to race, ethnicity and gender). She has published on national identity, cosmopolitanism, globalization and the ethics and politics of cultural industries (media, tourism). She is the author of four books including The Cinematic Tourist: Explorations in Globalization, Culture and Resistance (2007 hardback, 2010 paperback)and Cosmopolitan Memory in Europe’s “Backwaters”: Rethinking Civility (2011). Her new book, 'Heritage in the Digital Era: Cinematic Tourism and the Activist Cause', will be published with Routledge in early 2013.


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