It is 40 years since the first ‘Gay
OlympicGames’ in San Francisco, the first global attempt to innovate sport events for LGBTIQ+ folx, radically set to be more than just diverse and inclusive of ‘gays’, but also to be owned by communities, be counter-nationalist, counter-normative and sexpositive emancipatory experience for all involved.
Politicized global sport events of cold war times were to be commercialized and (now hyper) industrialized with the spread od liberal capitalist economy to the point that athletes of most levels were experiencing new forms of exploitations and alienations in sport systems.
What are historic, geographic, class and cultural differences, challenges and obstacles for elite or recreational athletes, sport officials or even professionals around sport to imagine another sport system and other types of sport events, that could enable other relations and empowering assemblages, that could urgency of sport de-growth become more obvious?
QueerSport is an effort to understand, propose, prototype, intervene in the norms through queer expressions without defining it. Z. Blace informs and instigates some of these practices in different constellations ranging from grassroots organizing, embedded research, media campaigns, educational workshops, conceptual artworks and advocacy for Cultural Social Responsibility for Sport.
Z. Blace is (in)consistently working (in)between fields of contemporary culture and arts, digital technology and media, community sports and activism – by cross-pollinating queer/commoning perspectives and embodied experiences with thinking and doing methods across different networks and contexts. Blace was active in Croatia’s new media culture scene since 1996, as web designer, artist and journalist, soon as organizer, researcher and curator (with)in several media culture focused NGOs including Multimedia Institute, as founding executive and coordinator-curator in net.culture club MaMa in Zagreb.
In 2005 Blace instigated QueerSport by organizing and instigating sport and recreation activities, community and cultural events, as well as presented and published on LGBT+/Queer realities across art/cultural and social/political axis of sport in collaborative projects as QueerSport (including Pop-up Rainbow intervention in swimming race, with Tools for Action and collaborators), Kickertables for Diversity (with TimeLab.org, ConstantVzw.org et al.), but also Queering Sports sessions at Van at Van Abbemuseum, wkv Stuttgart, and camp/lab activities at Timelab in Ghent (BE), PROGR in Bern (CH) and Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart (DE).Together with Caitlin Fisher, Blace co-founded connective ccSPORT in Berlin/Germany in 2016 for Contesting/Contexting SPORT 2016 project of nGbK. Blace led EU wide grass-root research project ‘BEYOND BINARIES examining the spectrum of Masculinity-Femininity / Hetero-Homo normativity in Aquatic sports and Dance’ in 2018-2019. In past years focus was directed to knowledge and participation gaps, as well as (post-)pandemic re-calibration of media, sport, leisure and health (including historic Olympics and pandemics like AIDS).