Het Nieuwe Instituut (Netherlands)

Galata Greek Primary School


“At a time when an increasing number of voices argue for the modification of gender norms, normalizing the absence of certain limbs, and accepting the presence of non-organic, technological components, the default standard of the Olympic human body renders as an hegemonic normative instrument that needs to be contested… The Olympic principles place the practice of sport as a human right ‘at the service of the harmonious development of humankind,’ the enjoyment of which should be ‘secured without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sexes, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.’ And yet, in the earliest versions of the modern games… majority of athletes were white males from a small group of industrialized countries.” –GB, MOV


51Sprints is part of the 2016 research and exhibition program of Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. The exhibit consists of two parallel narratives: video documentary in which the notion of the “Olympic human” is examined through five lenses — gender, race, class, nation, body; and an interactive platform titled “the equalizer,” which enables visitors to explore the history of the 100m sprint, a race of the Modern Olympics that has become a benchmark of human performance.