University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > er407's list > Development & Damnation: Some Lessons for Brazil from London and Cape Town on Sex Trafficking, Moral Panics and Gentrification during Global Sporting Events

Development & Damnation: Some Lessons for Brazil from London and Cape Town on Sex Trafficking, Moral Panics and Gentrification during Global Sporting Events

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  • UserGregory Mitchell, Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexual Studies, Williams College, USA
  • ClockThursday 29 May 2014, 17:30-19:00
  • House Lecture Theatre, Trinity Hall..

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Emilie Ringe.

In the run-up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, the Brazilian government is engaged in a militarized campaign to clean up favelas, blighted areas, and red light districts so that it may “develop” them. This research, based on ethnographic anthropological work in Rio de Janeiro, London and Cape Town, examines how neoliberal agents, state forces and NGOs are using discourses of feminism and human rights – especially fears about sex trafficking and sporting events – to enact these changes. By destroying Rio de Janeiro’s legal prostitution venues, these actors have created the very exploitation they purport to prevent, inadvertently encouraging new trafficking networks and opportunities for exploitation. The research also links these actions to US foreign policy mandates and a broader shift in governmentality within Brazil predicated on performing a commitment to sexual diversity, tolerance and progress that, in actuality, marginalizes vulnerable sexual populations. By examining the contradictions, elisions, and paradoxes of Brazilian intervention into sexual ontologies alongside case studies from previous host cities that struggled with these questions (i.e., London in the case of the Olympics, Cape Town for the World Cup), this article reveals troublesome and often contradictory alliances that have aligned at the expense of women laboring precariously on the sexual margins of society.

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