Nuclear waste and other tales from London: Capitalism and the Olympics

In an idealized worldview, the Olympic Games are a symbol of international sports excellence and friendly global competition.

A symbol of what could be, perhaps, but the “corporatization” of the Games have made it a playground for the super-rich and a profit-driven event. The Games have become a hopeful, yet often futile, source of economic revitalization and jobs for the host city or country, which instead often winds up in debt. Greece is case in point.

In a crowd-funded video from Italy, documentarian Enrico Masi shows the underbelly of the London Games. It is in English with Italian subtitles.

“The Golden Temple” tells a bleak story from East London. Capitalism – a society based on consumerism and maximum rate of profit – falls far short in meeting the needs of all in attempts at economic revitalization.

Most startlingly, the Olympic stadium is built on a dump that has radioactive nuclear waste!

Called a “mirror of present times” and “a human odyssey” through “desperate and paradoxical capitalism,” the video questions consumerist gentrification and regeneration. Why, for example, do Olympic visitors have to pass through the biggest shopping mall in Europe to get to their destination, and why does a 2,000 volts electric fence surround a square mile Olympic site.

The trailer is available here.

Photo: (Via Aplysia)



Teresa Albano
Teresa Albano

Teresa Albano was the first woman editor-in-chief of People’s World, 2003-2010, leading the transition from weekly print to daily online publishing and establishing PW’s social media presence. Albano had been a staff writer for People’s World covering political, labor, and social justice issues for more than 25 years. She traveled throughout the U.S. and abroad, including India, Cuba, Angola, Italy, and Paris to cover the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. An award-winning journalist, Albano has been honored for her writing by the International Labor Communications Association, National Federation of Press Women, and Illinois Woman Press Association.