While in Spain for 3 months in the summer of 2012, I decided to go to a few bullfights in Málaga (the birthplace of Picasso), with my Airbnb overlooking Plaza de Toros. It is extremely vital to me to try and experience most things before deciding whether I like them or not, and before picking a side, if necessary. Based on most of what I read in Hemingways works (one of my favorite writers) witnessing a bullfight became more personal and intimate. Watching how a fighter handles a muleta, to blood gushing out of the poor animal was the new kind of experience I was craving for. I was hoping to thus convey some slight notion of the bullfightings importance in the Spanish tradition and the culture, as I stand against animal cruelty and torture.
At the bullfight my hopes were massacred by what mankind is capable of and I was torn to pieces, crushing into the ground alongside Number 108. Number 108 – the playful bull that dashed through the doors of the ring, galloping into the field as if no tomorrow. What he didn’t realize was that for him there will be no tomorrow. A decision that lies in mankinds bloody hands.
Going through these images, I’m reminded of his heavy breathing the moment reality flashed through his brain. He looked upon men with a big “?” forming over his head. He must have misunderstood his existence, believing he was let out into the ring to play with his playmates, the bullfighters. Instead he was stabbed multiple times on the back of his neck and butchered to death.
A piece of me died with Number 108 that day. I wish there was something I could have done, sitting there filming his death. Except what can a single person do among hundreds of people, the young and the old cheering and fancying the “show”? The show, which must go on until the end of time, the time when nothing is left to die or be killed.
Photos by Golnaz Jamsheed (2012). All Rights Reserved.
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