Staging the nation at expos and world's fairs

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Abstract:

World's fairs provide a stage on which nations display and promote their identities in both a global and commercial context. From the 1851 Great Exhibition, nations identified themselves via mass arrays of products and materials. As the technology of display came to dominate in the twentieth century, nations used film to project their identities through amusing experiences for visitors. In contemporary Expos, national displays blend corporate branding techniques with the language of cosmopolitan universalism, presenting films that offer intimate narratives, with few national references, designed to appeal sentimentally to the visitor. National identity is paradoxically conveyed through personal, affective experience.

Keywords: Expo 2010; exhibitions; expos; national brand; national identity; world's fairs

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14608944.2012.677817

Affiliations: Department of Political Studies,University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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