1st Edition

Space, Mobility, and Crisis in Mega-Event Organisation Tokyo Olympics 2020's Atmospheric Irradiations

By Rodanthi Tzanelli Copyright 2023
    202 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    202 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book advances an alternative critical posthumanist approach to mega-event organisation, taking into account both the new and the old crises which humanity and our planet face. Taking the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as a case study, Tzanelli explores mega-event crisis and risk management in the era of extreme urbanisation, natural disasters, global pandemic, and technoscientific control.

    Using the atmospheric term ‘irradiation’ (a technology of glamour and transparency, as well as bodily penetration by harmful agents and strong affects), the book explores this epistemological statement diachronically (via Tokyo’s relationship with Western forms of domination) and synchronically (the city as a global cultural-political player but victim of climate catastrophes). It presents how the ‘Olympic enterprise’s’ ‘flattening’ of indigenous environmental place-making rhythms, and the scientisation of space and place in the Anthropocene lead to reductionisms harmful for a viable programme of planetary recovery.

    An experimental study of the mega-event is enacted, which considers the researcher’s analytical tools and the styles of human and non-human mobility during the mega-event as reflexive gateways to forms of posthuman flourishing. Crossing and bridging disciplinary boundaries, the book will appeal to any scholar interested in mobilities theory, event and environment studies, sociology of knowledge, and cultural globalisation.

    1. Introducing a risky experiment

    2. Pilgrimage in Tokyo

    3. The birth of the Japanese CineKiki

    4. The dreams of the Japanese CineKiki

    5. The ceremonies of the Japanese CineKiki

    6. The life and death of the Japanese CineKiki

    7. The journeys of the Japanese CineKiki: bodies and no-bodies

    8. Conclusion: the chronicles of a biotechnical crime


    Rodanthi Tzanelli is Associate Professor of Cultural Sociology and Director of the Mobilities Research Area in the Bauman Institute, University of Leeds, UK. She is a social and cultural theorist of mobility (tourism, social movements, mega-events, and technology) with particular reference to the representational discourses, regimes of consumption, and crises induced by capitalism and climate change. She is author of numerous critical interventions, research articles, and chapters, as well as 14 monographs including Cultural (Im)mobilities and the Virocene: Mutating the Crisis (2021).

    "The connections between critical studies of mobility, sociology of emotions, and social criticism are clearly conveyed in this book by Rodanthi Tzanelli. Risk, time/space, and experience are comprehensively analysed, and readers collect important cues that help them to understand 21st-century society."

    Adrian Scribano, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

    "Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources and concepts, Rodanthi Tzanelli's latest work on the Olympics as problematic mega-event tackles the pandemic-afflicted Tokyo 2020 games. As always, Tzanelli's work is thought-provoking, astute, and blends a sharp critical eye for fine details with a phenomenal grasp of the larger issues."

    Philip Seaton, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan

    "In this fascinating book, Rodanthi Tzanelli explores the philosophical dilemmas revolving around the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Centred on the effects of disaster and technoscientific reasoning over local place-making cosmologies, this is a must-read book that merits attention in the specialised literature."

    Maximiliano Korstanje, University of Palermo, Argentina

    "This truly interdisciplinary book provides a ground-breaking analysis of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Tzanelli provides an incisive analysis of how the crises surrounding this globally mediated mega-event are revealed atmospherically and provides an original analysis of intertwined human and post-human mobilities."

    Monica Degen, Brunel University London, UK

    "This stimulating "Tzanellian" foray into critical cultural theory upends mobilities theory, mega-event theory and critical cosmopolitanism, holding a dark mirror to the crises of the Anthropocene. Shimmering across tropes of pilgrimage, ceremonies, dreams, atmospheres, and embodied movement, she leads us through the Tokyo Olympics in her inimitable style."

    Mimi Sheller, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA

    "In yet another staggering impressive and conceptually innovative volume, Tzanelli uses the postponed Tokyo Olympics that took place in a context of planetary crisis in 2021, as a prism for examining the controverses and conflicts of global mega-events, challenging us to rethink notions of mobility and space from non-Western and non-anthropocentric perspectives."

    Michael Haldrup, Roskilde University, Denmark