Dr Michel Nicolau

On Brazil and Other Brands: Symbolic Production of Space and Mega-events

Funding period: 1 December 2016 – 31 March 2017
Type of funding: International Fellowship

Michel is based as a Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Campinas (UniCamp, Sao Paolo, Brazil), and conducted his research fellowship at the Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics (LSE) under the Mentorship of Dr Hyun Bang Shin. His research focused on branding and the symbolic production of space in mega-events with particular reference to the ‘Brazilian experience’ (cf. 2014 World Cup, 2016 Olympic Games in Rio), and conflicts involved in the production of place-images between private and state agents competing in order to achieve the highest profit from such events according to their own interests. The research investigated which agents are involved, what images they produce, what are their interests and, most importantly, what are their capacities to engage in the competition.  The research also attempted to establish a more structural relationship between mega-events and place branding based on a shared vision of a hyper-commercialized world and the ideology of the free market, drawing on Guy Debord’s notion of ‘the spectacle’.


Fellowship Publications

Nicolau Netto, M. (2019). Do Brasil e outras marcas. São Paulo: intermeios.

Nicolau, M. (2017). ‘A hierarquização simbólica do Brasil na Copa do Mundo’, Sociedade e Estado, 32/1: 145–69. DOI: 10.1590/s0102-69922017.3201007

Nicolau, M., & Shin, H. B. (2017). ‘The Rio Olympic Games and Socio-spatial Injustice’. Open Democracy (Also in Spanish and Portuguese)