Monday, March 1, 2010

Nationalism and Sports. The only way to love

Nationalism and sports. the only way to love.

What builds nationalism in sports? Why are thousands of people wearing flags and painting their faces with the Canadian Mapple leafs? When does nationalism constructed through an identity of competitive sports during the Olympics, exclusively builts homogeneity excluding diversity? This diversity is erased by creating the construct of an stereotypical Canadian male, which can be translated into white, heterosexual, and hipermasculine. Yet this is only a formula that proclaims itself true in moments of competition and chaos. Examples of this can be seen in war conflicts, or hockey. What interests me the most is how this branding of nationalism creates exclusion of any type of heterogeneity, which translates in a way to homophobia, and is strongly supported by corporate branding. It is known that an openly gay athlete runs the risk of loosing their corporate sponsors. This can be observe in the two of the most homophobic spheres; sports and the military. An example of this is how Extra West (Canadian Queer Newspaper), unsuccessfully tried to find an openly gay athlete competing in any of the Olympic teams to give an interview for an article. Nationalism and sports. The only way to love. juxtaposes these two concepts being critical of the lack of queer representation in both. Performed during the beginning of the final hockey game of the Olympics, between the United States and Canada, in the height of patriotism in sports. The performance challenged the construct of nationalism, and played between the boundaries of representation. The performers interacted with the public, (mostly canadian fans), their disguise and personification of passionate hockey fans was so effective that they were stopped for photographs by tourists and interviews by VANOC media.

performed by artist duo:
Emilio Rojas & Patrick Blaeser.
Sunday the 28th, Robson Square.

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