25.11. – 13.12.2009
Uusi Kipinä, Kenno, Kymintie 1, Lahti
My first encounter with a cockfight happened a few days after my arrival in the Philippines. When I was out walking I could hear men cheering and shouting. As I came closer it seemed that they were organising a cockfight in a narrow and empty street. When the fight started two masculine gamecocks were released and they immediately attacked each others in a wing-beating, throat-picking, leg-kicking explosion of animal fury so pure, so intense, and in its own way so beautiful, as to be almost abstract. That night I felt a forbidden excitement by witnessing the blood and violence that nature can show in its simplest form, in its most unpretentious surroundings. A cockfighting game has two roosters of comparable weight that fight each other until one wins or the opponent turns tail and flee, the roosters never stop struggling.
That evening of the cockfighting game I befriended Ronaldo and Florentino, two cock trainers that are passionate about their sport and their gamecocks. They own a farm together where they live, train and feed their gamecocks. They enjoy sitting on a chair next to their farm house and hold and stroke their favourite roosters for hours in silence.