This article maps out how different actors are involved in the promotion and mediation of the Olympics. It looks at the roles of, first, the nation-state, through an analysis of the promotional materials; second, the art world and global companies, through an analysis of the touring exhibition "Sport in Art" and the Beijing art district 798; and third, the Western press and activists, through a brief analysis of the critique of the Games in the Netherlands and the Chinese response to that critique. Our analysis shows that the imageries promoting the Games are never fully under control of their producers. The Beijing Olympics, we argue, should be perceived as a field of contestation, in which conflicting discourses, constituted by different regimes of truth produced by distinct interest groups, vie for global attention.
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