MEDALS - Frequently Asked Questions

 QueerMedals for YouthPrideGames Manchester 2012

Project by Željko Blaće and Kat Bowman instigated with QueerSport MEDALS - open for collaborations.

We articulate, design, produce, organize and educate DIY culture around our work with medals. If you have interest to give them a try as a special artefacts and use the opportunity to think and do both socially and critically let us know! contact email:

Q: Do you have any already made?
A: Yes and No. 
Yes - we produced several prototypes and few incarnations - like these

No - we custom design them for each purpose and context - you tell us what you want and how - we make proposals that we think are adequate in communicate with you. YES - We made and awarded first personal honorary medal to Louise Englefield (as rounded laser cut portrait in wood that includes a dedication - wrapped in holder made of recycled bicycle rubber. For the qSPORT badminton tournament we have developed participation medals that are distorted star shaped with rubber ribbon and reference to the event. We also developed PRIDE Youth GAMES medals that are in shape of stylized UK with logo and wrapped around flexible ribbons.

Q: How much will they be per piece?
A: We can likely adapt to the budget you have, but this should not be your reason to work with us.
For us it is combination of an art project that establishes link between ethics and aesthetics in athletics 
(for qSPORT medals it was queer design + recyclable material + critical attitude to competitiveness)
We care more about who and how and for what the medals are given (to nice people for doing good) than about what we earn... our goal is just to be sustainable enough not to be frustrated with production - and if we get a subsidy we might even give them for free, but for now it is a small scale personal investment / experiment that we want to make a “sociable” project.

Q: Can you send me a design for a gold, silver and bronze medal?
A: We can only provide “honorary” medals - you can give them away using metaphors of precious metals, but we are not using that - just recycled materials and we do not simulate the three metals in any way. We want to encourage people to rethink medals and start engaging with designing and doing them themselves - as we do not give them in order of 1st, 2nd, 3rd place... Maybe you can consider them as "personal best" medals. We can add info on them that makes them distinctive, but we would not make the distinction ourselves. Sometimes this is adequate or not, but it is often contested.

Q: Do they have to be given in queer contexts? Are there limitations? 
A: Both of us are queer creatives, but the medals do not need to be, or they don’t need to be presented in a queer context, but they should be engaging and emancipatory and be more than a substitute for a regular medal, made in China or elsewhere - the type of medals where exploitation of labor is part of someone's future award. We are strongly against that!

Q: What do I need to do to have them designed, ordered and produced?
A: Send us at least few lines of text about the context of where, how and who you want to award the medals to! We can propose a design and, if you agree, we can try to produce them considering limitations of time, finances and quantity.

Q: Why are you doing this now?
A: We feel medals as a medium should be re-imagined and re-conceptualized to include also queer or other minority positions (underpaid labor seems most obvious) and to be fully meaningful, they should be celebratory achievements for both the makers and those who receive them.