Greetings backers! The campaign for "The Olympic City" has been picking up steam, and we're now 85% funded. Thanks so much for supporting the project, and please keep spreading the word!
We've just finished up our visit to Mexico City, home of the 1968 Summer Games. Here's the last update on our experiences here:
Since the Olympics focuses a global media spotlight on the host city, they've sometimes become a stage for political acts and, in some cases, violence. If you ask Mexicans about the significance of the year 1968, many won't mention the Olympics, they'll speak of Tlatelolco, the massacre of student protesters by Mexican army troops 10 days before the Olympics began. On our last day in the city we visited the site.
In 1968 there'd been a growing wave of civil unrest and anti-government protests by student groups and labor unions, and protesters hoped the increased media exposure surrounding the coming Games would aid their causes. Approximately 10,000 protesters gathered in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas the evening of October 2, 1968. The questions of how and why the shooting started still remain unanswered.
The Mexican government at the time claimed that armed protesters assaulted the troops who'd surrounded the plaza, provoking their response. But a 2001 report concluded that snipers belonging to the presidential guard had fired on the troops from rooftops surrounding the plaza, causing them to shoot into the crowd of protesters.
There was discussion in the days following the massacre about whether to cancel the '68 Olympics, but IOC president Avery Brundage decided they should go on. Estimates of the casualties that night range from dozens to hundreds, and “La Noche Triste” (the Sad Night) has had an impact on Mexican politics and culture ever since. I've over-simplified this account but there are many sources of info online if you'd like to learn more about Tlatelolco. I think it's interesting to look at the history of how the Olympics has acted as a catalyst for social and political movements, for better or worse.
In all, I took over 1,500 images of Mexico City, which will now get edited down to the final 20 or 30 that'll be included in the book. We had a brief SD card error issue (backup your data now, people!) but otherwise all went well. Muchos gracias to our friends at Canana Films and Pimienta Films for all the production help, and to the staffs at all the facilities we visited.
On to the next Olympic city in the project (tag Jon, it's your turn), which Jon and I will be announcing next week. Thanks again for your support!
PS - It's just a coincidence that I'm wearing the same shirt in this photo as I was in our Kickstarter video. I have other shirts, really...