Searching for Sites of Liminality in Giga-Events

Kirby, Seth I. and Duignan, Michael B. (2020) Searching for Sites of Liminality in Giga-Events. In: Liminality and Critical Event Studies: Borders, Boundaries, and Contestation. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 99-118. ISBN 978-3-030-40256-3

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Giga-events disrupt urban communities and business environments rendering vulnerable social groups, particularly host communities of micro and small businesses, marginalised, invisible and unable to leverage certain economic benefits. We focus on one specific economic benefit occurring within a specific time period: opportunities and challenges associated with event visitor economies during the ‘live staging’ period between the Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremony. Giga-events are planned, organised and managed in such a way that they intentionally redirect visitor economic consumption away from small business communities and toward official sites of corporate consumption. These neoliberal outcomes must be combated and interrupted if more marginal social groups, like those residing in host communities, are to optimise the full economic potential of giga-events. Using this latent, but increasingly politicised critique of large-scale events to approach this challenge, we draw on perspectives, practices and concepts related to the burgeoning accounts of liminality. Liminality, namely liminal thinking, liminal spaces and the creation of liminoidal event spaces, inherently refers to the development of new creative spaces of disruption. As such, we frame such thinking as a way to disrupt and seek to provide a potential antidote to the neoliberal practices of giga-events that inevitably lead to the over-riding of local interests, in favour of external, contingent global demands of more visible, powerful stakeholders in the melee of Olympic planning. By mapping out the different sites where liminality may be fostered across host cities, we propose the different conceptual and practical ways host communities, policy makers, event organisers and managers can open up new emancipatory spaces ‘betwixt and in-between’. Divergent forms of liminal space have been overlaid across ‘Live Sites’ to illustrate the ways in which vulnerable social groups may be able to leverage opportunities related to event visitor economies.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Giga-events, Liminality, Liminoidal, Visitor economy, Micro and small businesses
Faculty: ARCHIVED Lord Ashcroft International Business School (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Seth I Kirby
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2019 09:54
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2022 09:41

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