The Centre for Media and Culture in Education (CMCE) at OISE / University of Toronto Presents:
Session 2 of the 2013 - 2014 Works in Progress Seminar Series
Friday, November 15, 2013
1 - 3 pm
OISE / University of Toronto
252 Bloor St. West
(@ St. George Subway Station)
11th Floor, Room #11 - 164
This event is wheelchair accessible.
Gay Pride at the Olympics:
Homonationalism and Anti-Colonial Resistance
Dr. Heather Sykes, Associate Professor, CTL, OISE/UT
I will give an overview of this research project about LGBT politics in relation to colonialism in sport. It consists of six case studies in postcolonial and settler colonial contexts—Vancouver Olympics, London Olympics, Sochi Olympics, Rio World Cup/Olympics, Israeli Gay Sport, Egyptian Soccer Ultras. Three case studies illustrate different forms of ‘homonationalism’ in sport, whereby the inclusion of gays and lesbians is closely aligned to the interests of the colonial nation-states, neoliberalism and white supremacy. The other cases explore how indigenous and anti-colonial protests against mega-sport events might lead to a different understanding of gender and sexuality issues in global sport. The political argument, very much a work-in-progress, asks whether queer politics based on solidarity with indigenous and anti-colonial movements might ‘decolonize’ the neoliberal politics of LGBT rights and inclusion in sport.
Taking Back Sochi
Dr. Salima Bhimani, Doctoral Graduate, CTL, OISE/UT
This paper unravels and maps the ‘NoSochi’ movement against the 2014 winter Olympics being held in Sochi Russia by Circassian activists. It is through making sense of how bodily, nation and virtual scapes play a role in the movement, that we begin to understand what is at stake for Circassian investment and labour in the ‘NoSochi’ movement. Circassians anti-colonial resistance and interventions illuminate how mega sport events such as the Olympics are not only complicit in, but create, violence in the name of statist and transnational global friendship, cohesion and collusion. Circassians are not only up against the ongoing colonial violence of the Russian state, but also the very coloniality of the Olympics.
Indigenous Evictions and a Gay Cure in Rio de Janeiro
Michael Wallner, Doctoral Candidate, CTL
This presentation looks at differences, and moments of solidarity, between indigenous anti-colonial and LBGT protests against the upcoming Soccer World Cup and Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Several indigenous communities have been forcibly evicted from their ‘living museum’ in Maracanã to make way for a World Cup soccer stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The Maracanã Village is a ‘living museum’ and was the planned site of the first Indigenous University in Brazil. For the indigenous activists, protests against the World Cup and Olympics is part their “513 years of struggle” against colonization, and it goes alongside their ongoing protests against the building of massive hydroelectric dams, oil extraction and deforestation of the Amazon.
At the same time, Brazilian LBGT groups are also protesting against a ‘gay cure’ law introduced by the Christian Evangelic bloc within the Brazilian government, led by Joao Campos who introduced the bill to reverse a 1970s ban on ‘psychological treatment of homosexuality’. The bill failed, but is representative of widespread homophobic popular politics. By looking at LGBT protests against the upcoming Soccer World Cup and Olympics in Rio, we hope to understand how homonationalism is emerging in contemporary Brazil, as a Portuguese settler colonial state with a distinct neoliberal context in the global south, as the World Cup/Olympics and queer politics intersect in the unfolding national politics.