It looks like Catalonia is not being truthful when they say that the bull is not part of ‘Catalan Fiestas‘. History shows that Barcelona has all the elements to suggest otherwise. No other city in Spain has had three functioning bullrings at any one time along with great Catalan bullfighters such as Mario Cabré, Clavel, Paton, Bernadó. Moreover, the anti-bullfighting lobby is adopting an unfair and abusive representation of those against bullfighting whilst claiming at the same time to be spokesmen for the entire Catalan society.
The obvious reality is that in Catalonia there are both supporters of the ‘Fiesta’, enemies of it and those who are indifferent. The anti-bullfighting league argues that it is all past history and that today having more culture has lead the Catalans away from such ‘fiestas’.
What then do they think about about such notorious bullfighting fans as writers of the calibre of Gimferer Pere, Felix de Azua, Joan de Sagarra, Robert Saladrigas, Arcadi Espada, men of theatre such as Calixto Bieito, Mario Gas, Jose Maria Pou, Albert Boadella Ramon Fontseré, Jesus Agelet, Carles Canut, Enric Majo, Pep Munne, Professors such as Victor Gomez Pin, Rafael Jiménez de Parga, Filmmaker Jordi Grau Viladecans, the painter Jaume Sisa or singers such as Mayte Martín or Kiko Veneno?
Outside Catalan circles, does this anti-bullfighting crowd pretend to be more educated than the ‘barbarians’ such as Goya and Picasso, Lorca and Alberti, Hemingway and Orson Wells, Bergamin and Gerardo Diego, Marcel Marceau and Francis Bacon?
The anti-bullfighting lobby also argue that there is no problem with prohibting ‘corridas de toros’ because the bull-ring in Barcelona rarely gets filled up: so according to that rule of thumb a wave of bans would extend to theaters, cinemas and the like.
The anti-bullfighting lobby are hiding behind the shield of ‘the suffering of the animal’. Nothing is said, however, against the celebrations of “correbous” which are hugely popular in some parts of Catalonia. Why don’t the representatives of the Esquerra attack and fight back instead of shielding them? Because in certain areas of Catalonia they happen to receive many votes.
The reality is that the attempt to ban bullfighting has political connotations. The anti-bullfighting lobby is right to some extent: Bullfighting is usually regarded as something Spanish. Although it is also universal, by its presence in France, Portugal and Latin America, the undeniable fact is that in the world, the ‘Fiesta’ is a hallmark of Spanish culture. The attack on the ‘bullfighting fiesta’ is a further demonstration of Catalonia’s wanting its independence. We live in the «ruedo ibérico», as Salvador Espriu, a fine Catalán poet said, «en una extendida piel de toro».