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Olympic Lecture: Let the Games begin

Posted on 27/01/2012
A performer during an Olympic ceremony.

Olympic Games provide unique, if controversial, platforms for indigenous peoples to express their cultural traditions in spectacular pageants prepared for a vast media audience. An academic at Royal Holloway, University of London is researching the history of Aboriginal and Native people’s participation in opening and closing ceremonies in Canada, Australia and the United States since the civil rights movements of the 1960s–70s. 

Through this research, Professor Helen Gilbert, from the Department of Drama and Theatre,  seeks to understand the chief pleasures and contradictions embedded in the circulation of ‘ethnic’ performances as global commodities made available for ‘reading’ across cultures. She also probes the tensions built into international spectacles constructed out of emphatically local material.

As part of Royal Holloway’s engagement with the London Olympics programme, and to celebrate the College’s role as an official satellite village, Professor Gilbert will give a public lecture, entitled ‘Let the Games Begin: Indigenous Performances and Global Spectacle, 1976–2010’, on Tuesday 7 February at 6.15pm in the College’s Windsor Auditorium. 

For the full story please visit the College’s 2012 Games news page.


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