Over the last few months, I’ve been working with a fantastic team at the Free Word Centre in London to create an exhbition called Politics & Olympics: Ideals and Realities, and it opened last week. My role has been that of historical consultant, working with curators Stephen Escritt and Nayia Yiakoumaki and researcher Oskar Kvasnes. Together, we have selected a variety of images from throughout the history of the Olympics that shed light on the diverse ways in which the Games and politics interact.
Themes include diplomacy, security and terrorism, national identity, human rights, body politics, and commercialisation. The exhibition, and the related events that will go on around it over the Summer, is not anti-Olympic: in line with the Free Word Centre’s remit, it is designed to encourage debate, argument, and free thinking, and to get us beyond the knee-jerk reaction that sport and politics don’t mix.
The exhibition runs at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon Road until 9 September, the closing day of the Paralympics. For full details of the events, visit the Free Word Centre’s website.