Since we’re a week and some change away from the official kickoff to the London Olympics, the news is gradually being filled with different stories about the Games. Some of them are funny stories about the standing order for 100,000 condoms for the Olympic Village–the Olympics are apparently like a two week, ever evolving rush party. Others are like the ODNB twitter feed, highlighting famous Brits involved in previous games. Even Doctor Who has gotten in on the fun, with Matt Smith being one of the Olympic Torch bearers when the Torch made its way through Cardiff back in May. Given my general anglophile ways, it’s not surprising that I find myself more interested in these Games than I have been in the past. They also interest me because I so clearly remember the summer of 2005 when these Games were announced: the news came in one day that Trafalgar Square had become an impromptu party celebrating London’s win of the Olympic bid. The next day, Friday, was the 7/7 bombings. I taught Ian McEwan’s Saturday that Fall too, a book strangely prescient about the possibilities of such an occurence, and I’m teaching it again in my Brit lit survey (a connection I just realized) this Fall. So, for me at least, there’s a bit of strange synergy about these Games.
Olympic Games are funny things. Ostensibly, they celebrate the best athletes in the world. Yet, they are also common cultural products, bringing the world together via communal experiences. They also celebrate the cultural identity of the host nation. I think perhaps one of the best things coming out of the Olympics as a cultural moment is the different ways that London is showing off what it means to have the Games in London. The LomoWall is a perfect example of this synergy between place, art, and Olympic moment.
A LomoWall is a wall of analogue photographs (or those normal pics you use to take) that have been stitched together to make a mosaic. BBC News has a full gallery here.