Monday, 14 January 2008

SINCELEJO BULLRUNS












Unlike normal bullfighting where one man galantly dressed flaunts and takes on the bull, in a small town in northern Colombia bullfighting has been brought to a next level; here the spectators themselves take on the bull.

Mimicking boxers men challenge bulls, calling for the attention of the public. On the stands dancing spectators drink and play cumbia music. Brass bands sallute the untrained matadors valued for their macho courage.

Many have died in this town of Sincelejo - Last year miraculously only ten were injured, though one was gored nearing his death - On other years, such as 1999, eight were killed.

A yearly event for the past 150 years, Sincelejo, the town of bullruns, is now a tourist attraction for many visitors. For the duration of six days, each afternoon 40 bulls are let loose in the arena, while the men weave and dodge against them.

Oddly the tradition has no Spanish heritage but is a creole invention with its own customs and clothing. No bulls are killed.

Our idea is to go to Sincelejo and document this year’s antics. We will follow the tradition on all its levels, from the celebrations to fear in the challengers’ eyes, as well as those unfortunate enough to end up hospitalised. We will also follow the real protagonists, the bulls themselves.

The event takes place between the 16-21 of January.

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