Olympics & China (2006, Nov, Annenberg School of Communication)


ann sch com nov 28 06 Monroe

‘hijacking’

affecting a representation of china and affecting china -    related but diff -    eg hr groups, china itself, other countries in the region -    who are the players with a stake in how china is perceived

concerns

sponsors of Olympics nbc – narrative responsibilities

how does this change china

issues of social change

Daniel

notion of event bring this notion to Olympics is there an identity of an event an address of the event? are there walls – if you move here then you are at another event. means of carving an event

2 interventions - first, relates to book with katz – eg. many of the critics v relevant. first presentation will remind about themes. - second, on hijacking – ownership of the event – how own a public event? is it owned by others than the public?

events as happenings -    act of somebody else can be a happening

predictable and avoidable.

few of papers are interested in sports, if any.

none are exclusively about sport.

sport as soapbox on which we stand to speak about something else.

expressive events -    but no authoritative validation -    happen, but succeed – pseudo-event – a gesture – infuenced by Clifford Geertz – Balinese cock fights – offered, bitter, popular; others v bitter but no attendance – why does onebring many and other bring nobody. – he says involves who owns fight – gives status – validates the cocks. -    does validation mean ownership? (WILLR ETURN TO THIS)

dayan and elihu – media events -    tried to identify characteristics: o    1. syntactic (formal dimensions; how define) •    a. interruptive (of evderyday life and schedules of tv) •    very powerful as long as it is not expected. •    when become institutionalised, interruption is part of new way of structing time; Olympics were once interruptive, but now part of calendar •    b. live – offering poss of shared, simulatenous experience (enter sphere of ritual) •    most of events have v interesting charca (textual packages); centre is live, but periphery that is ‘almost live’) o    ME: something about time here. •    c. remote – not done on tv, but somewhere •    number of modern stadia are nothing but studios. •    televisiual redefinition of public spaces o    2. semantic •    essential point: the meaning of the event. •    a. reverence, discourse of reverence has been accompanied by disclosure – self presentation of a society – this is what I am. job of certain journalists was to do this. •    b. history. ‘the live broadcasting of history’ events we talked about were historical, but because of this had to be broadcast. but with world visibility makes the event historical no matter what it is. visibility as a performative power. now at crossroad between these two – 1. have v important event, on other, f make snapshot, will become a  historical record. •    c. consensus. we talked about consensual events; ie. not stressing conflict, or if so to miniaturise it – instead of conflict, was contest – plays itself according to ruels – an ideal conflict – cf habermas public sphere to a smaller eg. monsier les anglais, please be the first to shoot.  – gentlemanly war. •    often uninvited conflicts; if say love people; have others come and say they are unloved •    Daniel hallin – disting between sphere of consensus and sphere of legitimate controversy; bad taste to introduce controversy in our consensual sphere. even if you accept our model – then mjust recog that consensus must be articulated into gestures – must agree on how to express consensus – disagreement on how todo this. so does not exclude conflict. eg. france, commeration of landing of US troops in Normandy – consensual event – thanking us for delivering from occupation – takes place in grand manner every 2 years. compare 1994 and 2004 – pre and post 911 – Chirac (invites Bush senior) – display of friendship – everything was in the how of the vent. for 2004 – 1994 was 6 hours, 2004 3 hrs, 1994 one guest us president – 2004 3 guests – shroeder, putin – second time said ‘us helped a little bit, but Russia did the big job’ – also verterans from Britain, Canada.  in 2004, veterans trying to stand despite medals, but were not intervieredwed – instead other. leads to a ‘grudging ceremony’ – how be less friendly in display of friendship. the ‘how’ of n event ‘give with one hand, and take it back with another’ •    Benedict Anderson (notion of nation) very similar o    reimagining nations o    Dayan: collective/world attention and visibility •    non-accredired: what the society wishes and wishes  NOT to convey. o    3. pragmatic •    war is not a ceremony, though an expressive event. has more dimensions

ME: if the media expects China to change, can it be disruptive?

what was so apparently striking at that time has become less so.

in book are there other elements ‘sicknesses’ -    hijacking as a pathology -    Monroe asked if it is really a hijacking. -    is it possible to have a first.

ME: is his audience an intentional audience? o    (4. organisational)

Elihu Katz

has talked about disrupting consensus question is: how far do you have to go to destroy it. eg decide not to go home for xmas

ME: this locates authorship within the action of the individual, but doesn’t the event prevail because of the media?

9/11 as unplanned -    anti-establishment

from thanksgiving to no thank you

Monroe -    querey notion of unplanned. -    but 9.11 was planned by terrorists. -    Olympics, no longer uninterruptive -    but plans by HR orgs, china, Jonsen and Jonsen -    not a question of of unplanned, but who’s planning!

Daniel and Elihu – we agree

Ren Hai

negative impact – homogenisation

unescu – use of language – 90% of lan will become

similar homogenisation in Olympic movement – eg sport 28 sports – only judo and taekwondo non-western

3 out of 25 summer games in asia

Sydney games – 44 candidates for athletes commission, but after election, none from Africa or asia.

Olympic charter

most important thing for Olympic movement is  to bring people together, but this goes against charter.

if look at sports in asia

tai chi, yoga

martial arts to study Chinese philosophy

good comm. tools

when doing tai chi – body language communicative

cannot be transformed into words

in Chinese uni, they teach modern sports

every morning, people practice range of sports – eg. tai chi.

fourth value these sports good for Olympic movement

Olympic movement itself some kind of monocultural dominated

Olympic solidarity

but never sought what kind of values do these nations have Monroe: how is China role in this?

BOCOG v ambitious want to poroduce cultural best games HJigh-tech Green \and Peole’s Games

People’s Games is key concept – want people to come from different countries

BOCOG: is the organisation structurally different form other Games organising committees.

Jeffrey Wasserstorm

boxer uprising of 1900 1999    bombing of Chinese embassy in Belgrade

underscores distance between Chinese and american perceptions of history that come into play with China Olympics

Boxer uprising -    began as a happening, surprise -    anti-christian, antiforeign uprising in North China -    captured media’s attention -    55 days when foreigners held hostage in Beijing -    ‘never before, only with new technologies haon the scene have we been able to follow an event….’ – telgraph -    people followd the event

international peacekeeping force (they didn’t use this term) went to resucce these people

these were the unplanned

(they saved hostages)

then an ‘expresive event’, les known

parade of foreign troops through the forbidden citycentre@suttonkersh.co.uk carefully planned peactcle to sa that the rules of the game have changed

ie. physically occupying empereros’ ground

other planned, expressive events that demionstrate that Chinese were willing to accept

eg. execution of boxers that hd planned hostages

memory of 1900 proof of chinea’s ooriginal sin – anti-foreign

hope for china for potential for conversion -    Chinese Christians, but also ching dynasty

forward to Olympics – 2008 and before

in west – question was whether Chinas hs moved far enough from dangerous side, to its conversion side, to be granted the Games. in Chinese perception, media coevrage was ‘has the west progressed far enough from its hypocritical doubles standard’? - conclusion was that the west is still not ready

in 1999 when Chinese embassay destroyed in Belgrade by bombs, Chinese comvinced that this was an expressive event – NATO wanted to teach china a lesson, so destroyed embassay US convinced was a happening – something had gone wrong

when protests  in china – with as a happening, in western, insisted was expressive – Chinese using people on streets

covereage discourse suggested parallels to 1900

ME: Use example of London 2012 bid victory, which was quickly followed by a terrorist attach on the city the following ay

since Tiananmen

2008 Olympics already started to happen

each time ioc visits Beijing, another expressive event

when announced was hositing, 2 questions -    like seoul (becoming liberal,e tc) -    or, berlin games (totalitarian regime using for purpose)

yao ming -    first person from communist  country in us post office -    other story is that he is product of regimented sports system, where parents match made to produce super sports hero (reusing of cold war) -    story spun reusing -    questioning naturalness of the athlete

what we remember Olympics for were things we didn’t know what were going to happen -    boycotts, black power salute, etc.

Xin Xu

idea of hijacking and ownership

hai ren, criticque of homogenisation

is cultural diversity an essential component of Olympic values

what does universal mean in Olympic values?

changing meaning of universalism

suppose cultural diversity a desired goal, is brining more sports to Olympics the way out

why trdl sports neceeesary good communication tool?

who will play the role of agency to bring bout expected change?

particularly for developing countries? expect state, ioc or progressive social movements.

ME: what is particularly interesting is that it can be hijkacked but it often isn’t.

On Sandra Collins paper, focused more on western media constructiona asian nations consructied as us and them

Collins engages same concerns as ren haiho

Jeffrey’s paper… how unique is love hate relationship? what about Chinese view of Americans? is mirror image

‘beauty and the beast’

‘beautiful imperialism’

not sure how much love/hate ambivalence is unique

Jeffrey talked about the three factors, but seems something else that needs expansion. ie. why hold such passionate views about each other in the first place/ what the two fantasies have in common lies in their underlying ethnocentrism

paradigms

modernistion paradigm

o the extenti that modernisation means rise of states

does one world one dream resonate with complex processes taking place inchina

discussion

need diversification

discussion

Daniel: problem writing about an event before it happens; yet you indicate that the discourses are already present.

Roger Silverstone: in a sitn where we lack the right distance, so whenever we speak of others, we push them further away than they are, or put closer than they are.

question of ‘the good distance’

Carolyn:

role of bocog in developing non-traditional sport?

Jeffrey on XXX without 911, coverage would have been different of apex summit (involving usa and china) Singapore newspaper and guardian was about how tightly controlled the city was

Peter Hestler, New Yorker

cultural politics

UN quality of the IOC

Monroe: whats’ the new narrative that china’s trying to get through? how represent in the Olympics?

Susan: fixity of narrative and what can cause them to change? NBC’s process. in 1998, I interviewed with CBS, but traditionally, they hire college gradutes with no expertise. send them around the world for 2-3 yrs for information and this leads to what Bob Costas has in front of him when commentating.bigger problem with NBC is that they are sports journalists, not investigative. tend to circulate same stories over and over. if I had been hired for CBS, I would have monitored what other journalists were saying to tell them what to write about. not to find the breaking stories.

Monroe: is media event dependent on structure of the media.

Kate Coyer: different periods of the event. whether we are in the event now?

Elihu: contests as ceremonial form of democracy. they are conflicts, but also very unifying. MacAloon would see traditional sports as part of what he calls festival. Olympics have sideshows where performers are the audience.

Carolyn: does china fit with macaloon’s festival.

Susan: one of debates is that on one hand have Olympic Games, but also cultural programme, which are less clearly restricted. still top-down organisation.

Elihu: if the media agree? (ie. are interested in covering)

Susan: people that programme cultural Olympiad do not know much about sports. China might have hope, since official org of sports in china has beeen conducted.

Beatriz: street activities increasingly scripted. crowd management. looks like celebration, but actually stged.

Susan Brownell

play the game conference will the Olympics change china or will china change the Olympics?

a lot of the op ed piece was cut from the Olympic Review article.

not sure who censored it, but was said to be an agency concerned about china specifically.

ME: what is she doing with the original?

investigative journalism’s role to reveal what is wrong.

mentioned the 3 themes of the Beijing Games.

Olympic education and volunteer training got cut.

BOB produce international feed -    revealed that was cooperative between IOC and BOCOG. ioc had create its own in house broadcasting service and for the rfirst time was supposed to produce feed, but was violation of Chjina’s law, so joint venture was formed.

international media scrutiny -    21,000 accredited -    10,000 unaccredited

no way thta they will all be writing stories that china gov want

corporate sponsorshop was kept in.

Chinese people proud that Lenovo were top sponsor,  but got cut

notion of harmony – search for world peace – harmony despite differences, - got kept, but attempt to give depth was cut.

discussed fact that BOCOG – discontent with segment in Athens closing ceremony. concenre that opening cereomnyn will not represent culture v well. as a result, selection for director was opened up again, but he got it again but with help, including Spielberg.

New Beijing, New Olympics was slogan, but was translated to New Beijing, Great Olympics.

World Forum presentation – IOC’s commission on culture and education.

I was asked to give presentation on multicultural of Beijing.

Mr He gave info about criticising eurocentrism.

geographic universalism does not equal cultural integration.

‘The Beijing Declaration’ from world forum. Monroe

shift from first to second workshop

legal legacy

how do external actors change a society how does the Olympics fit into the way the world can be seen as mods of intervention.

difference between role of ioc and bocog as trying to modify rules and norms internally.

how will Olympics change organisation of media

between old and new media?

can look at the Olympics as an instrument for change.

focused on global civil society, but could also think of, say, governments.

no shortage of groups who want to change china in some way.

in some ways, IOC and BOCOG and government at odds.

But also question of who is being assertive and resisted. but also, China as in concert with the IOC.

also, why invited Jacques who’s good at thinking about these things.

are there new alliances that arise from the Olympics?

new forms of practice?

can you address governments, etc who might not not otherwise be open to you?

in terms of applying leverage

this is what I mean by hijacking.

eg. if you are an HR org, what opps does Olympics provide to play through the narrative.

Elhu: more piggybacking than hijacking.

perhaps hijack is too strongt, as it suggests replacing.

in another part of the paper, this helps establish notion that all these groups need broad public belief that…altering legal systems.

puzzle is whether is about represn or real effects.

Jacques De Lisle

what does china want as its narrative?

on one hand, Olympic appeal is apolitical.

sovereignty issue. Taiwan will seize opportunity.

nationalism – medal count will be watched. hope and expectation is that they will win a lot.

Olympics a coming out party. -    show place.

another piece about what it is supposed to represent -    show itself as not just developed, but globalised. Beijing is international city.. -    explanations: opening to outside world, assuage fear that china will be difficult great power; -    idea that Olympics can be pressed towards some hr agenda. moreover, to be Olympic cannot do certain things as a nation. -    reason why didn’t get it in 2000 was because of hr -    Olympics also provide context within which is a legitimacy to foreign presence in china that is not there otherwise. -    international rules apply in china in way that ordinarily do not.

IP protection for Olympic wear, not going to be great, but better than usual for china

media freedom will not be great, but better.

authorities will be self-restrained.

won’t give up control of Taiwan, but will be more amenable to criticism.

do not want reason to trigger a boycott.

ME: I’d quite like a boycott.

Olympics as arena for self-presentation

narrative of ‘what are we about’ moment is

exceptionally dense focus.

widens audience.

focal point for range of things.

anything that happens there has magnified presence

who are the International players at Olympics? v diff from day to day community.

foreign busneses. -    those present normally worry about relationship with gov -    Olympic sponsor can be more free.

media -    v diff media

ngos -    many on ground in china now, but faces certain constraints because cannot easily demonstrate -    can be nore confrontational if not a repeat player

parallels to gorbachov visit

on negative side -    would be hijackers face obstacle

not a coherent group.

whole might be less than parts.

mE: but not really like taking a plane.

environmental groups

falun gong

Christians and catholics

separatist groups (Tibet)

single child family activist.

look how few groups are protesting.

potential lack of coherence.

positive:

Chinese state not a monolith on this a lot of usual landscape of media politics going on here.

obvious point that does not want games to go badly.

with short term event, have capacity to shut down – eg. cars can be told will not be on the streets. (eg. ioc visit they did this)

cannot control things in totialitarian way, but can gear it up when it wants

can feign a change when it wants.

Monroe: move from nation state, to commerce, to global civil society. is there anything to this idea? we have idea that nation states are controlling. then move to sponsorship – major thing as interplay with those who serve nbc and commercials. global civil soc entering as third stage.

Elihu habermasian, discuss differences. is right to do sports as minor as you suggest. if have this right,then cannot lock people up.

Carolyn: gloval civ soc diffi – notion that they will change rather than we.

Monroe: what does china want from these Olympics? One mode of not being hijacked is to have such a strong sense of expectation.  perhaps greater than is true of other Olympics. hard to tell what is overwhelming.

Jacques: there’s been so much hype about expectations for Beijing, that is difficult to do that effectively.once define as requirement, doesn’t offer much flexibility.

Monroe: more you invest in narrative, more interest to hijack – easier it is to flip.

Daniel: Macchiavelian – countering a project through another. appropriation: if civil society the theme, avoid by presenting as globa. second, is ventriloqution: repetition. number of arguments do not exist in themselves but by perpetual refraction. potential difference between munro and Jacque. Monroe – global civ soc that might have effect. Jacques talks as if it destroys itself through multiplicity.

Jacques: apart of trap, implicit ref to sudden radical change. implicit argument is that even if all involved, still wouldn’t happen. much of story of changes is that under radar screen.

Daniel: a negotiation. attempt at puincuring is never successful. reception of an event is part of anevent. shapes the dramaturgy. co-production of an event.

Susan: I think it will bring change to china, but they will be long term and complex. change is not oing toi happen in human rights, I believe..

Carolyn: in discourse of legal rights, eg review decisions for executions, human organ harvetsting from inmates; peasant activist found cguily and is under review. some egs where seems to have liberalised. are they attempts to damp down criticism before Olympics, or whether genuine change.

Susan: people in china tell me that nobody can force to change. loosening up in one area oft accompanied by tightening elsewhere.

Jacques: scrutiny does have an impact, but no specific

Xin Xu: one world one dream, but china as benevolent super power is more implicit (eg. choice not to use dragon out of concern that would be seen as threatening)

Ren Hai: one world one dream was first written in English.

LUNCH

missing research for book

anticipation

networks

Carolyn Marvin

Olympic space will give tangible form to two important stories

Daniel: these buildings are non-places. unconnected to the past.

Carolyn:: criticism has been that they do not respond to tradition.

Elihu: not piggbagging or hijacking, but Trojan horse. what about Chinese language?

Daniel Dayan

I will try to return to events.

first person who creates event is person who steals it, not who owns it.

Olympics is of that form.

role of sport in it will emerge at some point in that narrative.

first narrative mentioned was that of Jacques – the medal count – already a national narrative

my examples are not from the olmpics, but from similar examples

pope john paul second, speaks to Reunion island – he tells them he loves them – describe as an encounter with public of reunion, but is not merely this. pop uss reunion island to speak to all catholics -    ie. not just to members of the  island, but to catholics of world. the islanders are a pretext.

first point: always have dimension of hocus pocus – reason of event as pretext for making other types of discorses.

second point: identity of the event. I have always had this bizarre question – do events have a skin? I have a skin and it prevents my body from flowing around the room. clear what is dayan and what is non-dayan. Foucault asked ‘what if removed author’s titles from books’ – would have an extraordinary mess because no limit. would need to really understand it rather than say ‘oh this is shakespeare’. what constitutes the skin of the event. how say that an event stops somewhere. the events we discuss, they incorporate their reception. when I wrote about 9/11, semiotics said we know what is a narrative by looking at beginning and end. I said, how do you know it has ended? when defining the event, you are part of people who give the event a skin.

third point: the events like the Olympics are events which have a characteristics – connecting a centre to a periphery. the centre is moving (from city to city). each time the centre is redefined. also what is the periphery? constantly reconfigured. something that is extraordinarily reconfigurated.

do we have some means of discovering some stablility of the event?

our events are also simultaneously global/local.

narrative analysis not only.

also an ethnographic analysis of working event on the spot.

I did something else.

film festival of sundance. when in it, how it grew. some blocks away had ‘slumdance’ and another called ‘slapdance’. one event begot another. if you don’t want us, we will do our own which will bask in the glory of yours.

how to operatilonaise an event.

local event often prismatic or a tumoural event – a feedback dimension on original event that has to match its reported hugeness.

identity of such events. do the have any legitimate identity?

we have spoken of illegitimate discourses – piggybacking, hijackjing.

contested ownership.

John MacAloon – said like Chinese boxes – certain experiences: spectacle, then open, have festival, then open the box have the games. when open that box, the others …. text over text over text. as if two men running tells us something about the state of history in china.

how many meanings? and are some more meaningful than others?

opposition between happening and expressive events.

things that happen, like a train crash – gets a name.

alternatively, events before they happen because they receive their name by the discourse

we are dealing with the second

they are preplannned and the emergence of the discourse.

first task of an event is to give it a name and make it part of a story, but not enough

another is ‘performance’ dramaturgy recquies an enactment which might or might not be faithful to story.

this thought occurred in sundance.

I want to be part of festival, but when reading new york times it seems I missed it.

no matter how diverse the experiences were, you find yourself at some point subject to ….

how is it that an event finds an identity.

naming not enough, there needs to ben an enactment.

expressive events are like toher events, but unlike because skin largely depends on performances.

with Olympics, have expressive event that is repeated. first time it is a gesture, second time it becomes an institution.

script becomes an institution

question not whether will follow the script, but how will you change it?

those people who own it are already inreptreting it.

no existence of an event before performance

becomes an eevnt when performed.

Olympics try to develop systems of stablising themselves

an expressive event always aspiring to be a charismatic event – to win ‘hearts and minds’

script is XXX and has an appropriator

eg. endemol tv – have patent to a number of shows. entitled to realise patent, but must do what they tell you. could look at Olympic games as patented in this way. in order to use it, must be very obedient.

first in series of appropriating, but leads to whole grammar

there is no before the appropriation. it is totally a social construction, evne if becomes falsified or institutionalised in some way or some group declares this is mine. late and early appropriations slightly more or less legitimate, but re all part of same event. why use lang of stealing, hijacking, ect is that hijacking is a form of appropriation.

Dan Kelley

Olympics is temporary event. idea of planning concepts in creating the physical space.

Atlanta and Barcelona.

two v diff philosophies here.

John B Jackson – essayist about space -    eg. The Necessity for Ruins; The Sacred Road in America; A Sense of Place and a Sense of Time. -    invented learning frimo Las Vegas.

we understand the places we’ve been in, not the spaces.

I wanted to suggest that Olympics are a global pilgrimage site.

most people don’t go to Olympics.

but if media represents the physical spaces, then why bother to make physical spaces?

ME: the landscape of change is the media studio.

flame lighting as honoured space.

why make spaces if majority of people going there do not fit?

world cup in france

we didn’t care whether was in Bordeaux or Toulouse, but these events happened and part of topography of france. knitted together by media.

Atlanta -    spaces made then coopted for commercial use

Barcelona -    for long term viability as a city.

ME: problem to reconcile the privilege of ‘being there’ with the aspiration to equalise the value of our experiences.

Daniel: places of memory are fully inhabited. the buildings for beijins are devoid of memory – temporality has to do with anticipation. need knowledge to replace memory. this narrative is in the future.

Elihu: macaloon does not only say that being there matters, but that tv undermines it. because it converts everybody into the spectator genre rather than festival genre. how people behave when watching is different. dayan and katz – on the experience of not being there. in these discussions, some people talking about Olympics, others talking about the televised Olympics. these buildings are studios for the world. now attempt to make the studio more interesting.