Antonio Boalis

Photographer
 
Matanza, Spain
Location: Malaga, Spain
Nationality: Spanish
Biography: BIO Antonio Boalis is a documentary and wedding photographer from Spain with almost twenty years of experience, with a previous background in Fine Arts. His stage name is a tribute to Lisbon (Lisboa in Portuguese), where he learned the... MORE
Public Story
Matanza, Spain
Copyright Antonio Boalis 2022
Updated Oct 2021
Topics Animals, Black and White, Carnage, Crime, Documentary, Essays, Fear, Food, Oppression, Photography, Photojournalism, Pig, Rural, Spain, Texture, Typical, Violence
"Matanza" is the Spanish word for the act of slaughtering a pig. Of unknown origin, it was practiced already in the Middle Ages and is widespread throughout Europe, Asia and some Latin American countries, such as Mexico or Argentina.

In rural Spain it is typical to carry out a "matanza" in any important celebration that takes place during the winter. The animal is fed with quality products throughout the year, especially in the last months, coinciding with the fall of the acorn, to then be slaughtered between December and February.

Part of the animal is eaten the same day and with the other part sausages are made to be consumed during the rest of the year. The "matarife" (slaughterer in English) is the person who cuts the neck of the animal while the rest of people grab it, until it bleeds to death. The pig is not given any sedative or anesthesia, as they would remain in its meat. The grunts that the animal emits during slaughter are not easy to forget.


Witnessing the act of animal suffering that is the slaughter of a pig and finding ourselves in Spain, it is impossible not to think about the debate on bullfighting that was established several years ago in the country, with a great political charge and that therefore divides society. Among the detractors, in their majority of progressive tendency, the argument of animal abuse is exposed. Among those who support the so-called "national holiday", mainly of a conservative tendency, one of the main arguments defended is that top representatives of Spanish art and history such as Goya and Picasso worked on the figure of the bull in many of their works.

Out of curiosity I did some research and was surprised to find that both artists also included the pig in some of their works. Perhaps then the suffering of this animal has not penetrated into Spanish society because it does not have political connotations, at least without resorting to the literary figure of metaphor.


Photographer in Malaga, Costa del Sol, Spain


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