The 2018 World Cup in Russia and Its Regimes of Visibility: The Cases of Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan

26 May 2020

(Journal of Sport and Social Issues) Abstract: The article addresses visualizations of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian and international digital media. Drawing on the scholarship on discoursive hegemony, the authors intoduce a concept of hegemonic regime of visibility as a general frame for understanding the dominant ways of visualizing mega-events which comprise elements of attractiveness and enjoyment, on one hand, and surveillance, control, and security, on the other. Based on the cases of Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan, the authors argue, first, that the 2018 World Cup’s hegemonic regime of visibility, co-administered by FIFA and Russian government, implied a hierarchy of performative roles prescribed to the host cities as major promoters of the event. Second, local authorities in Russia used this regime for self-(re)branding to advertise the cities/regions as parts of the global world and authentically specific spaces with unique folkloric and ethnic traditions. Third, the FIFA hegemonic regime of visibility was challenged by alternative incursions that destabilized and infused new meanings in the dominant visual order. 

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Co-author: Alexandra Yatsyk



Journal of Sport and Social Issues

Journal of Sport and Social Issues