Sex Work in the Context of 2016 Olympic Host Communities (London, Rio, Tokyo Symposium) (Goldsmiths, University of London)


The pornification of host cities, whether celebrated or critiqued for the erection of hypermodern manmade facilities, has occurred in unison with the entrepreneurialism of local women whose economic fantasies hinge upon the sexual drive of foreign men. Implicated in 2016 Olympic and 2014 FIFA World Cup processes of urban renewal, women narrate the material consequence of grandiose event imaginaries on everyday sexual exchange, local migration, and economic freedom. Often barred from the discussion of urban (re)form, the research will add a theoretically-informed yet empirically-driven response to the repeated attempt to seclude (never erase) informal economies from “globally” celebrated cities. Based on ethnographic data collected since 2014, with over 100 women interviewed, this interdisciplinary project with an urban inflection will demonstrate legacies both proposed and actually lived across an otherwise silenced business sector with the hope to fuel reality-contingent dialogue, and associated action, about the future of sex in host cities.

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Citation: Hubbard, P., Brêtas, T., De Lisio, A. & Silk, M. (June 2017). “Sex Work in the Context of 2016 Olympic Host Communities” presented at the London, Rio, Tokyo Symposium at the Goldsmiths, University of London, England.