Demi-journée d’études « Olympic patterns and mobilization tools : transnational struggles and resistances »

Lieu : Amphi 120
Adresse : École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Paris-Val de Seine (ENSAPVS)Retour ligne automatique
3-15, quai Panhard-et-Levassor, 75013 Paris
Horaire : 14h-19h
  • The organizers, Marianna Kontos ( and Matheus Viegas Ferrari (


  • Speakers :
    Jules Boykoff, professor in political science at Pacific University in Oregon, USA
    S. Itani, associate professor of Sport, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Kansai University, Japan
    Marianna Kontos, PhD Candidate in Architecture and Urban Studies at Paris Nanterre University, France
    Cerianne Robertson, PhD Candidate in Communication at the University of Southern California, USA
    Natsuko Sasaki, Japanese translator and writer, France
    Adam Talbot, lecturer in Sport and Event Management at the Coventry University, UK
    Matheus Viegas Ferrari, PhD candidate in Anthropology at Paris 8 University, France
    Sven Daniel Wolfe, junior lecturer at the Department of Geography and Sustainability at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Language : English
  • Program :

The Olympic Games, as other cultural and sport mega-events, leave lasting traces in the hosting territories. Regarding previous editions and the different mobilizations, the "legacy" left to the inhabitants of these territories — a core principle to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and to all the organizers of the Games — raises several issues and recurring problems that seem to constitute a model or a global pattern, despite the social, urban, economic and political specificities of each edition. Martin Müller even develops the idea of a "mega-event syndrome" and establishes a clinical picture structured around the overestimation of benefits, the underestimation of costs, the preponderance of the event calendar, the socialization of risks, the privatization of profits, the introduction of exceptional rules, the capture of benefits by the dominant class and the use of the mega event as a lever for urban development and planning.

If we consider that the Olympic Games are one of the emblematic tools for building the neoliberal city, we can thus question the nature of this model and the processes of fabrication of this global mega-event, which mobilize the exception, the derogation, and the emergency and even a new form of state, that of an Olympic state with its own rules.

In what ways do the Olympic Games constitute a model of social, political, and urban transformation for the host cities and states, as well as a means for the reproduction of neoliberal rationality ? In this context, what are the tools put forward by local, national and transnational mobilizations in an attempt to give alternatives to the Olympic model ?

This seminar, combining critical academic research and activist experience, will attempt to provide some answers to these two questions through exchanges that will take place in two parts.

In the first part of the discussions, the aim will be to identify, through different editions of the games, on the one hand what belongs to the “Olympic model” and, on the other hand, what has been specific to some editions or to the fields of urbanism, security, ecology and economy. In the second part, the exchanges will seek to contribute to current and future mobilizations, both local and global, by identifying a set of conceptual and practical tools that have been employed over the last few decades, putting them into perspective and questioning their applicability and relevance in the context of preparing the next Olympics.

Opening Session (14h00 - 15h00)
Comité de Vigilance JO 2024 à Saint-Denis and Saccage 2024 overviews
Keynote Speaker - Jules Boykoff (Pacific University) "The Olympics, Celebration Capitalism, and Anti-Games Activism"

Roundtable 1 : Olympic Games patterns and specificities (15h10 - 16h30)
"From NOlympics LA to NOlympics Anywhere" - Cerianne Robertson (University of Southern California)
"The (un)sustainability of the Olympic Games" - Sven Daniel Wolfe (University of Lausanne)
"Olympism and neoliberalism : when competition matters" - Matheus Viegas Ferrari (Université Paris 8)
"The rise of feminist anti-Olympic movement for Tokyo 2020" - S. Itani (Kansai University)

Roundtable 2 : Mobilization tools (16h40 - 17h50)
"RioOnWatch : Challenging Celebratory Media Narratives Ahead of Rio 2016" - Adam Talbot (Coventry University)
"Mobilization in Seine-Saint-Denis : tactics, strategies, alliances" - Marianna Kontos (Université Paris Nanterre)
"Joseph Stalin’s legacy : Communists’ compromise with the Olympic Games" - Natsuko Sasaki (Translator/Writer)

Collective discussion and concluding remarks (18h00 - 18h45)