Sexual Spaces Project

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The Project

Research on Olympic cities and those hosting sport mega events has tended to address national identity-making, media representation (often with respect to the narratives of city/nation promoting tourism and investment), and associated landscapes of urban regeneration/gentrification.

There has been far less academic emphasis on the informal economies that coalesce around such events, with even less of a focus on the relationship between sporting events and urban sexual landscapes. Within this project, we aim to humanize zones of sexual commerce in Rio De Janeiro through bringing forward voices, images, reflections and stories that aid us develop knowledge of the relationships between sex work, urban sanitization/regeneration and mega-events.

The Impact

Why this project?

The aim of this project is to address: a) the spatial regulation of informal sex economies during a sports mega event (SME), b) the normalization of specific sexual identities/practices through these processes, and c) the key challenges this poses for sex-workers.

We are doing so through a series of complimentary work packages that focus on: the official destination positioning and regeneration of certain pockets of Rio, and; photo-elicitation, interviews and ethnographic field work that allow us to explore event-led urbanism and sexual commerce from the points of view of participants.

Tagged:BrazilESRCeventsmega eventsresearchRio2016Sex workersSPARCsports

Latest news from this project:

  • New Olympic research successes

    Since the Olympics took place in August, BU has seen two new Olympic research successes – the publication of a new paper into improving archery performance and an award from... »



 Related Links:



Bournemouth University, UK


King’s College London, UK

University of Toronto, Canada

Independent Researcher, Brazil

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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