A ritual, a complex set of gestures imbued with passion, violence, liberation and conquest.
An act that sculpts memory, a lasting testimony in time and imprinted in tradition.
The story tells of an ancient technique for tuna fishing, known since the Phoenician era and exclusive of the Mediterranean Sea. It investigates what remains of one of the last Italian traps still allowed to carry out traditional fishing. The tuna after the breeding period make a trip all along the Mediterranean to return to the open sea.
It’s a love trip that lasts about two months a year.
They follow the line along the coasts of the island of Carloforte and by instinct they always go west. It is a moment where it evokes an ancient atmosphere, built on a hierarchical history, made of fishermen and its commander, the Rais. They woo the fish, on their boats they sing, eat and fix the nets, until the fish enters them. Only the Rais can give the order to raise the nets.
A series of these, will indicate the numerical control and the weight of the specimens.
The chamber of death, the last of these cages is for those who will be caught for the slaughter, a crude truth made of death or the “imprisonment” continuing the journey to Malta, here the tuna are fattened and then sold in Japan, where the price will reach up to 700 € for kg.
For better or for worse, it remains a tradition that risks becoming extinct. It is a unique experience, a sacrifice that every year leads to form and unite a crew, a value that is known only by those who carry out this work from an early age.
We can see the weight of the cruelty of this testimony, even if these characteristics make the event unique, anchored on principles linked to tradition, to the identity of a people.
It is one of those cases in which the future is indissolubly linked to the preservation of a gesture of the past, however raw but indispensable to the survival of the rites that keep unchanged over time the characters of a people and the reading of a place.