Nationalism and Sports; The only way to love

What builds nationalism in sports? Why did thousands of people wear flags and paint their faces
with Canadian maple leafs? Why does nationalism constructed through competitive
sports excludes diversity? Is there any legacy left behind after these moments of vibrant
Canadian "identity"  fueled by a hockey game, and gold medals?



Nationalism and sport are repeatedly entangled, as sports provide a framework for symbolic
competition between nations; one of the primary forms of banal nationalism.
Contrary to the fundamental ethos of sports this type of nationalist antagonism is charged with
deep hatred, violence triggered by competition, and passionate behaviors that allow interactions
outside of the norms of conduct. Traditionally the Olympic Games are the highest stage for
nationalist competition, being reflected in their history of political conflicts going back to their re-
establishment at the end of the 1800's. Consider a matter of national pride, sport events like the
final hockey game (Canada vs. the U.S.) allow homoerotic interactions between supporting
members of the same team, and homophobic remarks against the adversaries that otherwise
would be consider unacceptable.

Nationalism and Sports; The only way to love, a multilayered video installation by Emilio Rojas
critiques the construct of the stereotypical Canadian male, translated into white, heterosexual,
and hyper-masculine. The video portrays the contradictions that these buoyant instances of
nationalism offered, and the branding of nationalism present during the Olympics. Capturing an
unrepeatable moment in Canadian history where two of the most homophobic spheres;
nationalism and sports, ironically come together through homoerotic imagery and the
fragmentation of the boundaries of Canadian politeness. Going far beyond a simple
documentation of a performance the piece invites the viewer to reflect upon the futility of banal
nationalism in this post-Olympic moment.

Performed during the Winter Olympics the day of the final ( Canada vs. US)
part of the VIVO2010;Safe Assembly, VIVO Media Arts Centre
Vivarium Gallery April 19th- May 2nd.
Available as 6, 3 or 1 channel video installation.