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the fact that the tonnara equiprnent involves the use of small-scale            port on Favignana's mattanza, the Italy Daily website quotes Ennio
                    boats, nets, anchors and gaffs explains the lack of resistance against          Bonfanti of the Sicilian branch of the Lega Anti Vivisezione, who
                    the mattanza. Its appearance is traditional and artisanal. In addition,         rnaintains: 'This exists only as a bloody performance for tourists. It's
                    this type of fishery has been on the wane for a long rime now. The              no longer sornething done for survival or even economie rnotives.
                    bloody  and  drarnatic  spectacle  has  only  sparked  a  very  lirnited        They're not real fisherrnen. They're entertainers. It's like bull-fight-
                    arnount of protests, even though i t is often described as being rather         ing. Nothing more than a barbarie spectacle of cruelty.' In a short
                    crueF Onlookers can easily observe the rirual, but this in itselfhas            artide, Anna Mannunci also critiques the practice and the paying on-
                    not given rise to contestation on their part or frorn journalists. If any-      lookers:
                    thing, they seern to consider bloodshed part of its 'authenticity'. In-
                                                                                                        In the past, the slaughter was  watched by many people and was
                    deed, the mattanza did and does attract onlookers frorn without and                 called a 'ritual' to make it sound a nobler, culture-specific - and
                    this no doubt has played a role in strengthening the identity of the                therefore more acceptable  phenomenon. But the idea of selling
                    Favignana islanders and their pride in the runa kill.                               tickets for  the massacre  upset public opinion, and anima! rights
                        In rnany cases, traditions rnay be cornrnodified (converted imo                 groups in particular. So much so that i t carne to nothing in the end.
                    currency) when enacted as a tourist performance, but some outsiders                 Killing animals, whether cows, chickens, trout, tuna, or anything
                                                                                                        else, is considered legitimate if i t is driven by necessity. Eating ani-
                    are likely to clairn that by doing so they bave lost their aurhenticity.
                                                                                                        mals is considered necessary for survival and for the financial wellbe-
                    To some extent, this has been the case with respect to the mattanza.
                                                                                                        ing  of those  who  earn  money  from  the  death  of these  animals.
                    To earn extra incarne,  the tonnaroti decided in 2001  that tourists
                                                                                                        Killing them in a visibly, publicly, bloodthirsty way like the fisher-
                    could buy tickets to watch the mattanza frorn boats at a rate ofUS$                 men ofFavignana is somewhat less generally acceptable but in this
                    20 to 2 5 per person. They desperately needed the additional rev-                   case, as in many other similar cases, the ideology of tradition com es
                    enues. As one tuna fisherrnan said:  'for the tourists we  represent                to the rescue, excusing even the most repugnant practices. For those
                    rnythical characters' (quoted in Singer 1999:65). They were well                    who watch the 'ritual' slaughter, there are justifications: tradition,
                    aware that staging the performance of the tuna killing ritual would                 obviously, and then culture, popular and local customs, which are
                                                                                                        more fashionable than ever in these times of globalization, and so on.
                    alrnost certainly attract tourists, although the tonnaroti insisted that
                                                                                                        Such arguments serve to free those who enjoy the spectacle of this
                    it stili is work (Vialles 1998:147). But the owner of the vessels, Par-
                                                                                                        cruel killing from any feelings of guilt. T m  not here because I' m a
                    odi, cancelled the selling of tickets as he feared there would be prob-
                                                                                                        sadist but for cultura!, and  even democratic,  reasons',  spectators
                    lerns  over  insurances.  Only  later,  paying  tourists  were  taken  on           might tell  themselves.  But paying for  the privilege,  with  ticket
                    private boats to watch the spectacle.                                               stubs, taxes and ali the rest, secularizes the event, calling imo ques-
                        Ironically, this cornrnoditisation of the ritual not only sparked               tion the symbolic and rhetorical constructs that legitimize the pleas-
                    controversy but also evoked resistance frorn without.  25   In a news re-           ure of watching an animal's death. Enjoyment thus excites outrage. 27

                        24  'La mattanza è una pratica barbara' (the mattanza is a barbarie practice),
                    says one commentator in an exchange about the mattanza in an e-mail discus-         26
                    sion list.       Last accessed August 18, 2004. A German Greenpeace activist describes the-
                    Last accessedJuly 22, 2004.                                                     Favignana tonnaroti as 'primitive people' (letter to the editor, Stern, August 3,
                        25  Fora brief peri od, there were two tuna fishery cooperati ves that were
                    vying for the quotas allocated by the Italian state. In addition to 'La Mattanza',   27   Mannunci, A. (2002) 'Ritual slaughter'.
                    Parodi established 'Ceri pesi' (Centro Richerche Pesca Sicilia). The two were Last ac-
                    united after negotiations with the Italian fishermen's association.             cessed May 18, 2005.

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