Thursday, 6 February 2014

Big sporting events and displacement

Batman fights for Rio's Poor and displaced

Oldest Favela in Rio updated for Olympics

While the Olympics and World Cup are fun events for many people who are able to go or watch via TV or online and listen through radio, many residents and local peoples who live near such large events often bear the brunt of the hosting city. In Brazil there have been nearly a year and half of protests by residents both middle class and poor in Rio de Janiero and San Paulo among other cities. The protesters have channel their frustrations and anger at the continual demolition of their homes and displacement by city and state as well as national government construction firms making way for the multimillion sometimes billion dollar Olympic villages, World Cup stadiums and commercialized districts for visitors. Such new brilliant constructions are seen as opportunities to promote Rio or Sochi as the city of the world, ripe for tourism and business investments. Big business is rubbing its hands together at all the possible investments and new links. Many of these billion dollar stadiums, hotels and mini cities are inaccessible for local people who literally live in their shadows. Just to get a ticket or even go near the Olympic or World Cup venue is impossible for local residents who are unable to pay an arm and a leg for seating or entrance to specific  venues. Many residents see the games as exciting but not representing them or their neighborhoods that are being bulldoze. The big sporting events are geared toward the international tourists and visitors. Various construction firms in Sochi, Rio and San Paulo as in Beijing and London are attempting to beautify the city at the expense of neighborhoods that are regard as part of their residents' identity. Protests in Brazil are also aimed at inaccessibility to education, healthcare, lack of teachers and doctors, dilapidated transportation and infrastructure in the major cities hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

The Cost of Glory: 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Games

Exploitation of migrants workers from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, non compensated and forced eviction and home demolitions for 2000 families, shooting stray dogs and limiting access to city residents are many reoccurring frustrations the residence in Sochi deal with as the city prepares to the host the Olympics.

The Debate: Hosting the olympics in Sochi

Favela Wars: Demolitions and heavy policing in favelas on the heels of Olympics and World Cup

Old Beijing being demolish to make way for 2008 Olympics

When Beijing hosted the Olympics, the city lost several historical neighborhoods named hutongs that had survived centuries of attempted demolitions. The hutongs are part of Beijing's Old City and historic district which have gradually been replaced over the years by rings and neighborhoods of high rises  overshadowing the remaining Old City of Beijing. The neighborhoods that are saved from destruction do receive infrastructure development and upgrades in its social services along with beautification projects. The beautification projects are key to representing a hosting city as an idealized symbol of what the host country best represents on the world stage.

Protests against the high cost of hosting events

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