Bullfighting fans demand unity in the sector and sensitivity to the ministry | Blog The bull, by the horns


Above all, the sector must be united in these difficult circumstances derived from covid-19; on the other hand, the Ministry of Culture must actively listen to bullfighting, respect freedom and support the bullfighting as one more cultural industry; and, in general, the future is presented with a mixture of optimism not without uncertainty because the party must regain the ground it has lost in Spanish society.

These are some of the considerations of the eight fans - two women and six men - who have been consulted by this blog about the role of professionals in the face of the bullfighting consequences of the pandemic, the attitude of the Government towards the demands of the sector, and their vision on the future of bullfighting shows.

"Bullfighting must do what they have not done in a long time: be united and support the Fundación del Toro de Lidia," says Carlos Abella, writer and former director of the Madrid Center for Bullfighting Affairs. "And create a lobby - a pressure group - made up of relevant people who have influence with this government and those who come."

Of the same opinion is Beatriz Badorrey, professor of History of Law: “The unity of everyone, including fans, is necessary around an organism that channels the demands of the party. And our weapons are the rule of law and the defense of values ​​that make us unique in the globalized world ”.

"We must create a lobby made up of relevant people with influence in the Government" (Carlos Abella)

"Bullfighting culture must prevail," says Rosa Basante, president of the jury for the Doctor Zumel literary prize. "Freedom must be respected," he continues, "and that the entire sector row in the same direction."

Toni Gaspar, president of the Provincial Deputation of Valencia —organism that owns the plaza of the autonomous capital—, understands that “what it is now is to work together with the institutions to make this year viable." "I think that work is more productive quiet than noise, "he says.

"Bullfighting must address fair claims to the Government, and ask it to defend a sector that, like all of the culture, is going through a moment of maximum difficulty," says Antonio Ramírez de Arellano, former Minister of Economy of the Junta de Andalucía. And he adds: "But at the same time that it concentrates its requests on all the Administrations that have something to contribute, such as the Provincial Councils and the City Councils."

Francis Fabré, editor of the French magazine Bulls, identifies two groups of problems. "First," he explains, "that politicians think that bullfighting has less weight than ecology and animalism. In this case, the answer is the apolitical union of all the sectors that suffer this discrimination; and, secondly, the celebration economy is not sustainable in all its components. The base of the pyramid (the novilladas) is the most fragile, and the bullfight is an expensive spectacle that has lost an important part of its audience ”.

"This is a complex problem" explains Francisco Jiménez, president of the Bullfighting Tertulia of the Casino de Madrid. "I do not know if the bullfighting sector has come together and has thought of concrete solutions. So far, I have only appreciated that they have applied for grants. For what?" The ideal, in his opinion, would be "not to give up the year as lost, adapting to the health indications about the coronavirus, and that runs be held, even out of season."

Paseíllo in the Plaza de Azpeitia in July 2019.
Paseíllo in the Plaza de Azpeitia in July 2019.

Finally, the president of the Mazzantini Forum, Javier López-Galiacho, refers to a comprehensive report that he has just published in Elcierredigital.com in which it points out, first, the need for the sector to study the call for protest actions on the streets. And he adds other proposals: the urgent unity of all professionals, who must count on amateurs, the preparation of an economic study of bullfighting today, the cost reduction of festivities, the integration of bullfighters in society, the creation of the Bullfighting Academy and a profound revolution in the internal and external structures of bullfighting.

Regarding the silent attitude expressed so far by the Government, the opinions are consistent: you must listen to the bull's professionals.

"The ministry cannot remain oblivious to this cultural reality," says Beatriz Badorrey. "Bulls are not a religion or a stream of fans, but a cultural heritage," adds Rosa Basante.

"There is no issue that dialogue cannot address, and Culture must actively dialogue with bullfighting," thinks Ramírez de Arellano.

"The future must be based on a new bullfighting business model (Ramírez de Arellano)

In the opinion of Toni Gaspar, “the Government of Spain, like any government at any institutional level, must listen to the group and take measures, especially in regulated cases, such as financial aid. The law must always be above political sensitivities and positions ”.

"I am concerned that the governments of Spain and France do not speak with the representatives of the sector," says Francis Fabré, "that each professional family defends its own interests, and that fans are removed from these reflections."

And the future remains.

The president of the Bullfighting Tertulia of the Casino de Madrid thinks that "this season of the covid-19 will have a very negative influence on the future of the party, because the public may lose the habit of going to the bullfights".

López-Galiacho believes that “the party must be shielded, in the French style; reinforce the ecological aspect and rethink current bullfighting. Just as there is talk of rebuilding countries after the covid-19 crisis, it will be necessary to rebuild social support for the bullfighting festival ”.

Toni Gaspar affirms that “predicting the future in the times we live in is an act of faith; my wish is that in the bullfighting world also the confrontation and the appropriation of the party by political acronyms, whatever they may be. I think that bullfighting, the most cultured festival in the world as Lorca called it, was born from the people and that is how it should continue ”.

"The future must be based on reflection on a new sustainable bullfighting business model that is appropriate for the current moment," says Ramírez de Arellano. "For this," he continues, "leadership in the sector and clarity of ideas are necessary." "But as long as there are fans, bullfighters and ranchers, this show will have a future."

“Uncertain” is the adjective that Rosa Basante contributes when speaking of the future. "I want to see it with optimism," says Beatriz Badorrey, "but also with uncertainty; the party has survived very bad moments, and I want to believe that now it will also be strengthened ”.

And in the opinion of Carlos Abella, "it will be necessary to seriously reconsider costs, mentality, and a change in business forms ..." "The sector is going to be very economically affected", he continues, "the figures should charge less and play a role more active in society, and that the entire sector carry out a titanic task before the media ”.

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