Tag Archives: olympics

Danger and the Rio Olympics

[Savage Minds welcomes guest blogger Kristen Drybread.]

The 2016 Olympics in Rio are fast approaching. For the past two months, people I haven’t seen in years—and people I have never even met—have been emailing to ask if I can help them find an affordable and, above all, safe place to stay during the Games. Never mind that I haven’t been to Rio for four years. Never mind that “affordable” and “safe” are relative terms. The assumption is that, having spent several years conducting fieldwork in northeastern Brazilian prisons (most recently in 2014-2015), I’m a better guide to Rio than the Lonely Planet. Continue reading

Sochi: Ethnic Cleansing, Genocide, and Putin’s Olympics

(Savage Minds is pleased to run this essay by guest author Elizabeth Cullen Dunnanthropologist and professor of Geography and International Affairs at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is author of Privatizing Poland: Baby Food, Big Business, and the Remaking of Labor, and currently is writing a book about international humanitarianism and internal displacements in the Republic of Georgia.) 

This week, athletes from all over the world are in Sochi, a small town on the Black Sea, to participate in the XXII Olympic Games. While the skaters stay close to the coast, skiers are in Krasnaya Polyana, a site high in the North Caucasus. The games are an exciting display of athleticism and dedication. But I am not watching, because the games are the pet project of Vladimir Putin, who is responsible for ethnically cleansing more than 26,000 people in the South Caucasus. Having done more than 16 months of fieldwork with these victims of ethnic cleansing, the thought of watching the Games and celebrating the Russian dominance of the Caucasus is profoundly disheartening. Continue reading