The congress of Murcia, good will against the indolence of the bullfighting | Blog The bull, by the horns

The II International Congress of Bullfighting, held in Murcia from October 18 to 20, has shown that the bullfighting party is only interested in four cats, and among these there is no bullfighting.

The Minister of Culture, organizer of the meeting, who sent the General Director of Fine Arts on his behalf, is not interested; it does not matter to the bullfighting figures, neither to the entrepreneurs, nor to the ranchers (many received a telephone invitation from the organization and all of them, with the exceptions of Enrique Ponce, Juan José Padilla and Rafaelillo, competed in the search for banal excuses ); it does not interest, in general, the media, including the bullfighting portals; and it does not matter (it's the last straw) to the program Zero Lining of Spanish Television.

Who was interested, then? Well no more than sixty or seventy fans, who composed the audience. Again, the fans, -short, yes, as always, but committed- above the bullfighting.

Thus, from the outset, with these first data, it could be concluded that the bullfight festival is alive with a real miracle. For once the Ministry of Culture decides to hold a congress to talk about bulls, the sector goes and turns its back on it.

The program was as ambitious as incomplete and clearly improvable

It is true that the program was as ambitious as it was incomplete and clearly improvable. It is not viable to condense in two days the social, economic, touristic, legal, historical, patrimonial, cultural and popular importance of bullfighting. Impossible. On the other hand, it had a good group of speakers, of high level, formed by prestigious technicians, university students and amateurs.

It is not permissible, on the other hand, that a congress in 2018 does not address the throbbing and very serious problems that the bullfighting party suffers today (with the exception of a part of the table dedicated to the hobby and popular celebrations) and that the have placed at serious risk of disappearance.

It is true, also, that the congress barely had a minimum diffusion before and during its celebration, as if Culture had interest in that it went unnoticed.

Enrique Ponce simulates the luck of killing in the spectacle Crisol, celebrated in the Malaga fair of 2017.
Enrique Ponce simulates the luck of killing in the spectacle Crisol, celebrated in the Malaga fair of 2017.

It was a gesture of good will, failed, but an occasion for dialogue and reflection, also for criticism, and, above all, to disseminate new vertices on the transcendental importance of the bullfighting party.

And the first one who did not value the scope of the congress was the minister José Guirao, who missed a magnificent opportunity to demonstrate that, although he does not like bulls, he was where he had to be; and for something else: to transmit encouragement to those millions of Spanish fans who feel neglected and abandoned.

The Ministry of Culture lacks competence in bullfighting matters, but must be the guarantor of compliance with the law that considers the bullfighting festival cultural heritage of this country. No great decisions are expected from this department that affect the promotion and diffusion of bullfighting (it lacks the budget and political intention to launch the famous and dormant PENTAURO - National Strategic Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Bullfighting-), but it does gestures of support.

The first one who did not value the scope of the congress was the minister José Guirao

The congress was already, they will say in the ministry. Of course, but orphaned by the absence of its highest representative. Fortunately, Román Fernández-Baca, general director of Fine Arts, the department on which bullfighting depends, replaced him very worthily.

Why were not bullfighters, businessmen (with the very honorable exception of Tomás Entero), cattle ranchers and bullfighting in general? We would have to ask each one, but the impression is that the analysis, the study, and, in general, everything that does not smell of fresh money is of little interest to the sector. Regrettable, very unfortunate the absence of qualified representatives of associations who tear their clothes every day, but who prefer to be on the heights that rise to the occasion.

And the media? Each one is a world and perhaps the venue for the congress was not the most suitable, but it deserved, undoubtedly, greater coverage than it has received.

And the content?

Varied and interesting in different shades. Dispersed, first of all, by the multiple issues addressed. Illustrative, yes; academicist, sometimes and sometimes bored; Exciting when the fans spoke; emotional the colloquy with Padilla, and poetic, grandiloquent and disturbing the inaugural conference -The bullfighting, way of life- that Enrique Ponce pronounced.

The Valencian bullfighter was the first to speak, fell in love with almost everyone - without intending it (or yes), he became the star of the meeting, and the vast majority of the speakers referred to him in a praiseworthy tone, as if the savior 'Messiah' would have spoken. Without the slightest reference to self-criticism or the actual situation of the party, he uttered pompous phrases ("Bullfighting does not belong to anyone", "Bullfighting is not a hobby, but a way of life", "Let's not let them empty emotional content of bullfighting "," I am looking for bullfighting that allows me to take my soul out to fight "," Bullfighting is art among the arts "), and some pearls for concern. Among them, these two: "You have to redesign the future of bullfighting" and "You have to know how to adapt to the new panorama", and an allusion to the run held in Istres (France) on June 19, 2016, in which he fought two bulls dressed in tuxedos, and the spectacle Crisol, included in the Malaga fair of 2017, -a fusion of bulls and opera, flamenco and classical music-, whose balance was described as extraordinary and an example of evolution.

He did not explain how he understands the "redesign" of the party or what the "adaptation" to the new times consists of, but the feeling that Enrique Ponce conceives bullfighting as a denaturalized show, empty of integrity, a sort of ballet for tourists and spectators of passage in which the bull-a silly and obedient sheep-collaborates with a dancer's apprentice in the role of nurse.

The stalls of the Romea theater, where the inauguration was held, came down, the bullfighter received congratulations and hugs everywhere and his words overflowed with intensity in all sessions of the congress.

There remains the question of whether the audience grasped the scope of Enrique Ponce's message, or whether the bullfighter himself was aware of the danger that his conference contained.

And alarming, very alarming, that many speakers of high technical consideration alluded to the words of "maestro Ponce" in a tone of exaggerated praise.

The II International Congress of Bullfighting (well-deserved congratulations to Antonio Amorós, advisor to the ministry and soul of the meeting, and to the Murcia company Marevents, for his commendable organization) will not go down in history due to its transcendence or its revolutionary conclusions, but there it remains as a gesture of goodwill despised by the bullfighting. A lost occasion, no doubt; but there will always be an anti to blame him for our ills ...


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