Basketball Match, audio.
Roodkapje Rotterdam. 2011.
(in collaboration with Zeljko Blace)

Alex eurogames by josebegega

"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.

In the wake of Donna Haraway, things must change from within and we must do it conscious awareness of all subjects as sports, science, literature, philosophy, etc. Because sport is a concept, a word, that everyone likes from politics to pub chats, there is little arguing about unattainable role models and old rules so it’s extremely sexualized and regulated by quite sexist policies.

QueerSports work aims to change things, playing balls to the institutions and sports groups to actually change their rules and their estates with respect to the sport motivation and gender norms. On this purpose there were meetings, questions, partnerships, small vandalism or intrusion. It is one of these intrusions where I as a viewer have stayed. Alex was not in the EuroGames innocently but was one of many interventions Zeljko organized. He knew of him as activist who changed sex for a long and proposed him to join the EuroGames as a member of pioneering B&H team (actually first time for B&H to participate formally in LGBT sports). Its a simple act to introduce diversity in sports. Changing the discriminatory rules sometimes LGBT sports system also follows itself (initially registration to EuroGames did not consider trans people). As a result of this I decided to focus on this testimony as a first step in research on the concept of QueerSport.

The installation is set up with two simple element. Some pictures from the only game Alex team won on the tournament… and an audio interview I conducted after wards. As Alex aim is to fit in a male team that's what u see, he is a part of a male team of Amsterdam as a result of his determination and organizational intervention. One just sees a trace of the process in his becoming of a one more member in the team.