Conf. : Conte[s|x]ting SPORT Split-2012

Conte[s|x]ting SPORT Split-2012 is a one day conference "...for more Inclusive, Diverse and Sustainable Sport" on Friday 2nd of March 2012 in Split/CROATIA (City library Marko Marulić in Slobode 2).
Organized by: EGLSF, EPAS and qSPORT - Zagreb with support of HBS Croatia. Working conference website: http://split-2012.qsport.info/ Though conference itself is quite official and representational, some of its content and structure has queered up including several workshops and meetings that go between more formal keynotes and panels.

For EGLSF this would be the first time conference has been shifting from exclusive focus on homophobia and homosexuals in sport, into a more general and more specific topics, so being more inclusive more diversity and hopefully in the future sustainable structure for (self)reflection. It is also exceptionally organized in relatively small and highly homophobic city, but with a long tradition of (un)conventional sport practices and world famous athletes.

Dear Mr Ahmed Aboutaleb

photo of Delegation of LGBTQ athletes at EuroGames 2011 with Mayor of Rotterdam

Dear Mr. Ahmed Aboutaleb,
I would like to wish you all the best in 2012 on behalf of the EuroGames 2011 participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina. We all remember the moment of the opening in Rotterdam and your inspirational speech about equality in human rights and access to sport for all. It was especially touching to hear you talk about community outreach to Eastern Europe where situation of legal regulation, practical application of it and reality of life in economically deprived society go against LGBTQ population. This inspired us to take this photo with you.

Cfp: the Material Culture of Sport - deadline 13 February 2012

Design History Society Annual Conference The Material Culture of Sport
University of Brighton, UK
13-15 September 2012

CfP: Sport, Gender and Media Conference - deadline: 12th December 2011

Conference Call For Papers
CENTRE FOR WOMEN’S STUDIES

Call for Papers
Sport, Gender and Media
10th March 2012
CFP deadline: 12th December 2011

We invite all postgraduate and early career researchers interested in gendered aspects of sport to a one-day interdisciplinary conference.

This is a growing academic field which addresses important questions about equality, public health, representation, participation, citizenship and ‘fair play.’ With the Olympics in the UK, and a likely glut of related journalism, 2012 is an opportune time to investigate the framing of media relationships between sport and gender.

The conference will be interdisciplinary, and welcomes contributions from many fields in order to foster understanding of, and promote relationships between a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives. We also intend to celebrate the achievements of women in sport, and this conference will be part of the marking International Women’s Day.

GLQ journal - call for proposals: "The Athletic Issue"

From GLQ website: "Providing a much-needed forum for interdisciplinary discussion, GLQ publishes scholarship, criticism, and commentary in areas as diverse as law, science studies, religion, political science, and literary studies. Its aim is to offer queer perspectives on all issues touching on sex and sexuality." http://GLQ.DukeJournals.org/

IDENSITAT call for sport+art projects in Spain 2012

IDENSITAT is a quite exceptional art project/organization (based in Barcelona) that investigates ways to impact the public sphere through commissioning/supporting work (productions, publications, exhibitions...) that explore physical and social aspects of place and territory. In the ID*A line of activities for creative projects based on a particular theme, specific to the physical, social and temporal dimensions of a particular site IDENSITAT (together with Spanish Council for Sport) opens a second call in ID*SPORT series . This is one of the most interesting calls around for creatives interested in producing sport related projects. Their webpage lists some of the projects supported by last years call.

"I'm more stronger"

"I'm more stronger" that's reason why Alex was playing the male team at the EuroGames.

In parallel to Zeljko 's relational art practice in form of QueerSports.LAB (in Roodkapje’s Work-in-Progress residency space), I’ve done work more related to the construction of identities while joining him. Probably because it is difficult for me to work with the LGBT movement, which I find dated and as they have been mostly accommodated in the normalization of a series of models of homosexuality (...so far I encountered many ideological walls in my way with LGBT community). Practitioners of these models tend to forget that a full reform is not completed, as binary separation of two genders is still very present. It is my opinion that these gays and lesbians often remain insensitive to general non acceptance of more-queer individuals by society who do not fit basic models of gay or lesbian. Among my psychowanking Zeljko introduced me to a guy who came from Mostar in Herzegowina (less pronounced part of Bosnia&Herzegowina) to play basketball and whose name is Alex. One of his particular characteristics is that after many years of professionally in local basketball team he doesn’t play basketball anymore but has come to an international tournament. This is a common denominator of quite a few participants in the EuroGames. Another is that he changed sex from female to male. One of the reasons for Alex to participate in the EuroGames was to join male league.

QueerSport.LAB closing Sunday afternoon...

After 4 days of work-in-progress activities, QueerSport.LAB closing Sunday afternoon in casual conversations with: athletes from South East Europe who for the first time took part in EuroGames, Maarten Freriks who initiated GaySportsFriends.org, EGLSF members and special guest researcher Matthew Roebuck - who is writing a book on The Other Olympics http://www.TheOtherOlympics.co.uk/

instituting of LGBT sport on-line networking

In past two days in meetings (Thursday - Ahoy and Friday - QueerSport.LAB) and several informal conversations the topic of instituting of LGBT sport on-line networking has been discussed among several people. Initiated by Maarten (of http://www.gaysportsfriends.org/), supported by Zeljko (of http://www.QueerSport.info/), with Emy, Sonia and Marc (of http://www.GayGames.org/), with Marc (http://www.panteresgrogues.cat/) and Azeem Ahmad (Vorspiel Berlin badminton)... Networking social efforts of Frank Kelly (out in Ireland) and technical services Stephane Colet (QUBE Sport) were discussed as well as experiences of Gay Sports Friends and FGG with different commercial service providers and qSPORT with Drupal.org open source CMS (...and web application framework).

First Impression

Until now I've been trying to conduct interviews with participants of the EuroGames for a couple of days without much success by the number and in the content of interviews. I could not extract any solid sense, political cause, sentimental reason, compelling content, or meaning to justify the existence or organization of a EuroGames. From my point of view this is not an isolated incident in the organization of gay sport tournments but something that is also shared with the Gay Pride. These events lost their initial content and have been stripped of meaning they had in the past when the repression of LGBT people was a link to different political and intellectual opinions converged on a strong movement. Now they become parties to produce income, confirm power relations and validate stereotypes. The LGBT movement (if one can use the word still) is no longer fighting for the plurality, but acceptance in homogenization.

My conclusion as a first time spectator is that the only motivation behind the participants of the EuroGames is meeting guys, traveling and spending causal time. This conclusion could have an interesting political content. But this simple and unpretentious concept is masked in a bubble of universal ideals such as human rights, equality, difference, etc. using them indiscriminately and without substance. Even posing a question: Do gay people need a special league because they can’t compete in general ones? Are gays weaker than straight?

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