Graphic content, viewer discretion is advised
On July 28, 2010 the parliament of Catalonia voted to ban bullfighting in this region of Spain. This multimedia, shot in Barcelona’s Plaza Monumental, just before this historic decision, shows what media often fails to show about bullfighting.
Produced by Axel Cipollini and Charlie Mahoney
Concept and Photography by Charlie Mahoney
Video by Axel Cipollini
Editing by Axel Cipollini, Juan Carlos Gonzalez Diaz and Charlie Mahoney
Narrated by James Chance
Special Thanks to Dani Jové, Charo Juan, Hermes Luppi, Laura Orsina and Ivan Sanchez
© 2010 Axel Cipollini and Charlie Mahoney
A bullfight isn’t a spectacle, a fight, or a sport. It’s what remains of a sacred ritual that traces its roots to ancient sacrificial practices and bull worship.
The matador represents an ancient priest who voluntarily risks his life to sacrifice the bull for the good of mankind.
The bull is a sacred animal that represents the force of nature, which willingly offers itself up for sacrifice to bring prosperity to the community.
On July 28, 2010 the Parliament of Catalonia, an autonomous region in Northeastern Spain, voted to abolish bullfighting in the region. This will force the closure of Barcelona’s Plaza Monumental, Catalonia’s only remaining active bullfighting ring.
In the 1900’s Barcelona was one of the world’s most celebrated bullfighting cities. With its three bullrings, it hosted more bullfights than any other Spanish city.
I like bullfighting because of its expressiveness, elegance and artistry. It has an incredible tradition with centuries of history behind every bullfight.
Bullfighting proponents say that this is art… a tradition that has to be maintaned and can’t be prohibited. But the reality is that they are violently torturing and killing an innocent animal.
I like bullfighting because I am Spanish and it’s in my blood.
People say that it’s something that they feel deep inside them… that it’s a ballet, an art form… that we can’t understand it if we don’t feel it, but the only thing I feel is the agony and cry of the bull.
Going to bullfights should be a personal decision. If people want to go, let them go and if they don’t want to go, then don´t go.
Enough already. We can’t talk about evolving as a society if we keep abusing living beings for entertainment.
An animal rights group, Prou, which means “enough” in Catalan was responsible for forcing the debate after gathering more than a 180,000 signatures.
Tradition and culture describe bullfighting but they don’t justify it.
Animals are not just things. They are living beings that have the ability to distinguish between pleasure and pain. Based on this scientific fact, we want to abolish all public events, where animals are mistreated.
There is no underestimating the endurance of an event that forms part of this tradition set society, yet customs are changing. Polls indicate that more than 76% of Spaniards have no interest in bullfighting, which raises the question: Without the 550 million euros in government tax subsidies would this ancient ritual come to an end?
According to the Spanish Interior Department 10,000 bulls were killed in official bullrings in 2009. However, it is estimated that in training events and local festivals, more than 40,000 bulls are killed annually in Spain.