Eduardo Leal

Documentary Photographer
    
Forcados
Location: Ponta Delgada, Azores
Nationality: Portuguese
Biography: Eduardo Leal is a Portuguese documentary photographer based in Macau, China, that focus his work mostly in South East Asia. Previously he worked for several years in South America. He graduated in Journalism at Escola Superior de Jornalismo (ESJ)... read on
Public Story
Forcados
Credits: eduardo leal
Updated: 11/16/16
Location: Portugal
Archived as:  , ,

Portuguese forcados lie somewhere between the bull riders of the Americas and the bloodier bullfighters of Spain. Unlike in Spain, where the bull is stabbed to death if the matador manages to win the contest, the forcados wrestle the animal (whose horns are capped) with their bare hands as a display of determination and bravura. The Spanish recently moved to permanently legalize deadly bullfighting (after the region of Catalonia outlawed it), but Portuguese royal law banned the killing of bulls in the arena in 1836. And while few can say the bull enjoys himself overmuch in the Portuguese arena, he does live to see another day.

Usually, a group of eight forcados challenge the bull in concert. The front man provokes the bull into a charge so that he can perform a pega de cara (a “face catch”). He secures the bull by its neck or horns and must maintain himself on the bull’s head until the other members of the group can hold the animal and enable the man to extricate himself. The team’s rabujador then holds on to the tail to finish off the performance.

The forcados are amateurs. Each team earns as little as €600 per contest, which allows them to pay for the group’s insurance and perhaps a celebratory dinner after the match. But still they do it year in and year out, because they are young men with much to prove, and a tradition to uphold.

12,556

By Eduardo Leal —

VISUAL STORY

Lockdown

By Eduardo Leal / Porto, portugal — “Lockdown” is a small series that focuses on my rearview window to the old town of Porto during..
VISUAL STORY

Hong Kong Protests

By Eduardo Leal / Hong Kong — Hong Kong was engulfed with months-long of protests due to an unpopular extradition bill to mainland China...
VISUAL STORY

Sangam

By Eduardo Leal / Prayagraj, India — India’s Kumbh Mela is considered the largest gathering of humanity on Earth. Just on the last Kumbh,..
VISUAL STORY

In the Ring

By Eduardo Leal / Chiang Mai, Thailand — About 15 years ago seeing women on a ring fighting Muay Thai in Thailand was almost unheard off, unless it..
VISUAL STORY

Plastic Sea

By Eduardo Leal / Capurganá, Colombia — Every year more than 448 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide, of these between 5.3 million to 14..
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Cholita's Rise

By Eduardo Leal / La Paz, Bolivia — As recently as 10 years ago, Bolivia’s indigenous Aymara and Quechua women were socially ostracized..
VISUAL STORY

St. Bartolomeu

By Eduardo Leal / São Bartolomeu do Mar, Portugal — Every year on 24 August, faith and tradition join thousands of people at the feast of St. Bartolomeu do..
VISUAL STORY

Afterquake

By Eduardo Leal / Ecuador — On the 16 th April 2016 at 18:58 local time, the earth became alive for 75 seconds in Ecuador. An..
VISUAL STORY

Revolution Chronicles

By Eduardo Leal / Venezuela — At the end of June 2011, I arrived in Caracas, the capital of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela with the..
VISUAL STORY

Ghost Town Democracy

By Eduardo Leal / La Paz, Bolivia — Countries like the United States and the UK are trying to integrate elections seamlessly into daily..
VISUAL STORY

Copa do Povo

By Eduardo Leal / São Paulo, Brazil — Even if football was born in England, Brazil is considered the spiritual home of the game. During a month,..
VISUAL STORY

Bolivian Ball

By Eduardo Leal / Potosi, Bolivia — Travis Dupree comes from Eastman, a small town in central Georgia. He played basketball at Voorhees College..
VISUAL STORY

Killer Bean

By Eduardo Leal / Argentina — The soybean will in a few years become one of the most important food commodities on earth. No other fruit..
VISUAL STORY

The Island

By Eduardo Leal / Lençois do Maranhão, Brazil — Surrounded by sand and lagoons in Lençois do Maranhão National Park, an area that stretches 155 thousand..
VISUAL STORY

Wrestling Cholitas

By Eduardo Leal / La Paz, Bolivia — Every Sunday afternoon on the city of El Alto, once merely suburb of the city of La Paz situated at 4,150..
VISUAL STORY

Plastic Trees

By Eduardo Leal / Uyuni, Bolivia — The world consumes 1 million every minute, it was considered by Guinness World Book of Records as..
VISUAL STORY

Victims & Heroes

By Eduardo Leal / Colombia — Colombia’s armed conflict, which started in the 1960’s, might be close to an end. After almost four years..
VISUAL STORY

Bolivian Dreams

By Eduardo Leal / La Paz, Bolivia — Linked to the celebration of the harvest and the arrival of the rains in the La Paz region, the Alasitas..
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