(International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics | Co-authored by Alexandra Yatsyk) Abstract: In this article we explore the cognitive potential of the intertwined concepts of representation and performativity for studying a series of sportive and cultural mega events hosted by Russia from 2013 to 2019. Authors look at mega event as semiotic spaces generative of messages, symbols and images that might be conceptualised from the interrelated perspectives of representational and performative politics. The key research questions are: if cultural images produced by and distributed on behalf of the mega events’ hosts and organisers can be approached as representations and performances, what exactly do they represent and perform? More specifically, is there a central – presumably, illiberal – signified in the semantic representations and performances we analyse in the article?
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