Animalism is overcome with more animalism (the bull is a unique species); inventory the squares and shield them as assets of cultural interest; bring the party closer to schools and universities; create a national museum of bullfighting; promote a national and European lobby for the promotion, protection and defense of the festival; open to the public the pastures and ranches; speed up the rhythm of the bullfighting show …
These are just some of the proposals of Javier López-Galiacho (Albacete, 1963) to anchor the bullfighting festival in the XXI century, the great concern of this militant and bullfighting activist, doctor in Law, professor of Civil Law in Rey Juan Carlos University, and director of a multinational, but converted into a factory of ideas that prevent the closure of a hobby that he discovered at the age of six in a laying in the square of his city, and that, since then, has persecuted to make bullfighting a vital passion.
How can we defend the bullfighting festival in this 21st century de-urinated society?
Here is the great concern of López-Galiacho, founder 40 years ago of the Luis Mazzantini University Bullfighting Circle (which awards the Joaquín Vidal Prize), author of the book ‘De Frente, en short y por Derecho’, an enthusiastic and committed fan, with our feet on the ground of problems, but with the sky-high hope that this tradition can continue despite as many difficulties as they trouble it.
“I think the show has not been cared for on the inside and business management practices from the 19th century still persist,” he says. “We must do a complete rethinking of the bullfighting business,” he adds.
“I see is a great desert of ideas in the bullfighting sector”
“I understand that bullfighters must emulate the great Luis Aragonés, who, after the failure of the Spanish soccer team in the 2004 Euro Cup, called a great sit-in for the sector and asked himself: what do we want to play? From there a strategy emerged that led us to win two European Cups and a World Cup ”.
López-Galiacho is convinced that bullfighting should create a professional structure in the style of the Professional Football League, which offers proposals to manage the sector from above.
“And apply modern marketing formulas to sell the product. The remembered Iván Fandiño has been the only bullfighter who used them on the occasion of his imprisonment in Las Ventas in 2015 ”.
“The hunt will survive,” he adds, “because he commissioned Deloitte to carry out a study on the state of the sector, and with that document he sat down to speak with the Public Administrations. What does bullfighting have to talk to politicians? Where is the data? A ‘white book’ on the situation of the party is essential ”.
“And a social audit,” he insists. “There are very few of us who manifest as bullfighting, but we must remember that, a few years ago, the Plus television box was full of actors, writers, footballers and celebrities who today have disappeared out of fear; we must know which are the supports of the party in the society ”.
López-Galiacho is convinced of the need to promote civil society, a lover of theater (founder and president of the National Association of Friends of the Historical Theaters of Spain), circus and cinema, and is surprised that bullfighting is the only art that only fans defend.
“Where are the bullfighters?” He wonders. “Why are they hidden in these difficult times?”
“What I see is a great desert of ideas,” says López-Galiacho.
And he bases his concern on the “deep de-urination” that, in his opinion, Spain suffers.
“This situation occurs”, in his opinion, “due to the extraordinary thrust of animalism, the loss of fans and the help of politicians.”
“I will always hope, but we have two cartridges left, no more.”
“It is true that society has evolved from the countryside to the city, from a close relationship with animals to 5G technology; we live a social mascotization and animals have become human; bulls have disappeared from television and are banned from schools; my students do not know who José Tomás is, but they are familiar with Messi ”.
“I have the impression that the bullfighting sector is not aware of the enemy’s strength,” he insists. “Animalism has beaten us by a landslide; he is a very powerful adversary who is influencing politics ”.
“I have come across a large advertisement on Seventh Avenue in New York showing a bullfighter entering to kill and a legend that said: ‘Art or torture?’ Who pays for that? “
– Could it be that the battle is lost and you are just a nostalgic?
– “In this case, I refer to Jorge Luis Borges: ‘Without hope, in the retreat we will continue fighting’. As a bullfighter I cannot answer that question. Nobody gave a hard for Manili the afternoon that he faced a Miura bullfight in Madrid and came out on his shoulders. I will always hope, but we have two cartridges left, no more ”.
Javier López-Galiacho is aware, however, that there is no more unfavorable situation for the party than the current pandemic.
“There are no bulls, there is no talk of bulls. Football has continued, even with matches without an audience, decaffeinated, but it has remained. Here, except for a few businessmen who have gambled, the greats have remained hidden in the burladero, for whatever reasons. A few days ago, Concha Velasco said in the theater that we must continue to raise the curtain every day, and I say that we must open the gate of crews, adjusting to the circumstances of the moment ”.
“Real Madrid”, he continues, “has taken advantage of this exceptional situation to remodel the Santiago Bernabéu stadium; the Community of Madrid, for its part, has not moved a brick from the announced and necessary rehabilitation of Las Ventas. What I have told you: bullfighting is a desert of ideas ”.
– Do you think that the bullfighting festival is at risk of disappearing?
– I repeat: we have two bullets left; as we do not do something and continue entrenched …
(Javier López-Galiacho recalls with enthusiasm the first time he visited the cloister of the Silos monastery, from the fourteenth century, in whose coffered ceiling a Castilian appears throwing a red cloth on a bull, and quotes the prestigious Spanish anthropologist José Antonio Juáregui, who wrote a doctoral thesis on ‘Symbology of the world of bullfighting’…)
“We must not allow”, he concludes, “that this rich historical and cultural heritage disappears; if we lose bullfighting it is as if we smashed stradivarius around the corners …