Atmosphere, the elusive ambiance of a place, enables or hinders its mobility in global consumption contexts. Atmosphere connects to social imaginaries, utopian representational frames producing the culture of a city or country. But who resolves atmospheric contradictions in a place’s social and cultural rhythms, when the eyes of the world are turned on it?
Mega-Events as Economies of the Imagination examines ephemeral and solidified atmospheres in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the handover ceremony to Tokyo for the 2020 Games. Indeed, highlighting the various social and cultural implications upon these Olympic Games hosts, Tzanelli argues that the ‘Olympic City’ is produced by aesthetic "imagineers", mobile groups of architects, artists and entrepreneurs, who aesthetically ‘engineer’ native cultures as utopias. Thus, it is explored as to how Rio and Tokyo’s "imagineers" problematize notions of creativity, cosmopolitan togetherness and belonging.
Mega-Events as Economies of the Imagination will appeal to postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and professionals interested in fields such as: Globalization Studies, Mobility Theory, Cultural Sociology, International Political Economy, Conference and Event Management, Tourism Studies and Migration Studies.
CHAPTER 1 -- Staging the mega-event: Militourist imaginaries in an Olympic city
CHAPTER 2 -- Globalising utopias: Imagineering the Olympic event, making the world
CHAPTER 3 -- Tomorrow never comes: Rio’s museum of our futures
CHAPTER 4 -- Choreomobility and artistic worldmaking: Retrieving Rio’s submerged centre
CHAPTER 5 -- The Opening and Closing Ceremonies: Migration, nostalgia and the making of tourism mobilities
CHAPTER 6 -- Tokyo 2020: Urban amnesia and the techno-romantic spirit of capitalism
CHAPTER 7 -- The Handover Ceremony: Digital gift economies in a global city
CHAPTER 8 -- Conclusion: Dark journeys and hopeful futures
Once again, Rodanthi Tzanelli offers a high-quality and promising book, where she theorizes on the cultural borders of the Olympic City in the ceremonials of Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. With delightful prose, her development exhibits a fertile ground to understand media events as the juxtaposition of two economic forms: the artificial economy, which focuses on the doctrine of security; and the economy of imagination, more oriented to the production of architectural legacies as artificially fabricated and externally imposed.
Korstanje Maximiliano, University of Palermo, Argentina
This book makes a major contribution to understanding mega-events through a cultural sociological analysis. Grounded in a multi-disciplinary literature, it will appeal to readers coming from a wide range of perspectives. The central theme of Mega-Events as Economies of the Imagination provides an innovative and compelling lens through which to understand and explore mega-events.
Paul Lynch, Professor of Critical Hospitality and Tourism, The Business School, Edinburgh Napier University, UK
The planning of Olympic mega-events for Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 involved not just pragmatic aspects of logistics and engineering, but also what Rodanthi Tzanelli describes as imagineering. This fascinating study of global mega-events brings together recent theoretical approaches to atmospheres, aesthetics, technologies, economic development, infrastructural urbanism, hypermobility, and dark tourism to give us new insights into the staging of "mobile situations" and their symbolic "choreomobilities." It is an intriguing contribution to the literature on mobilities, global urbanism, and the performative arts.
Mimi Sheller, Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Drexel University, USA