Media Literacy Workshops 2011 – “Why Study the Olympics?”
We’re just finalising details for this year’s Media Literacy workshops for secondary schools (follow Media Literacy tag on the right to see information on previous years’ workshops) and thought we’d tell you a little bit about our plans and the theme “Why study the Olympics?”!! Here’s an introduction to the topic for teachers by the workshop leader David Goldblatt:
“The Summer Olympics are an extraordinary event. What began as an obscure, eccentric Hellenic revival and sporting gymkhana has become one of the world’s most important and most watched public spectacles. Now over a century old, they have survived every twist and turn of global history and grown ever larger. Up to six years in the making, the scale of a modern Olympic games is immense: 20,000, athletes, from over 200 countries, compete in 23 sports over three weeks, and most of the planet will be watching some of it.
Along the way the Olympics have been aligned with internationalism and peacemaking and served as a theatre of the most bellicose nationalism. The summer games have been pressed into the service of dying European empires and rising Asian superpowers. They have been subject to the whim of communism, fascism and free-market capitalism and been struck by kidnappings, riots and terrorist attacks.
Undaunted by this track record, the world’s leading cities spend millions of dollars to win the right to host them, media companies break the bank to screen them and the world’s largest corporations dig deep in their pockets to sponsor them. National governments ransack the treasury to pay for the show and then some more to make sure they win gold medals.
There is no shortage of cynicism around the Olympic Games. There is no shortage of critics who condemn their embrace of commercialism, the irresponsible urban development they leave in their wake and the often shallow internationalism of the spectacle. Yet the Olympics continue to offer us both a compelling display of sporting excellence, human brilliance and beauty and an unusual but finely crafted lens through which to view the world in which we live and play.”
We’ll post some photos and a brief report in early July once the workshops have been completed.
This entry was posted on Tue 31st May, 2011.