I spent this past week shooting in san antonio de tachira and cucuta along the venezuela/colombia border. both towns were plastered with posters promoting the pamplona feria and bull fights, frequently sparking my curiosity.
ferias are always good shooting opportunities and I jumped at the chance to go when some new cowboy friends invited me along for the trip...one that sloan would call 'bone-jarring'...a bumpy, nauseating and winding buseta ride up into the mountains. I figured it was all well worth the opportunity to shoot a traditional bull fight for the first time.
I made it about two minutes on the 'ground floor' of the bull fights before the quirky director of the fights ran up to me in a hurry, telling me I had to leave...despite having all the equivalent press credentials as the handful of male photographers with press access...the ground floor was also apparently a no-women allowed zone. traditionally dressed in a white lace collar, black top hat with prominent red feather and funny looking shoes, he told me I had to leave...because, alas, it's way too dangerous for me, being a lady and all...eh, bienvenidos a mi vida.
this happens fairly often and I have a well rehearsed and rational response that I once again found myself repeating. this guy was not having any of it though, and really put his foot down, funny shoes and all. we went back and forth for a good five minutes...rationale quickly diminishing on both fronts. he didn't care about my press credentials or even my personal 4-H experience showing heifers in the houston livestock show and rodeo way back in the day...nor was I buying his argument that because I was a woman, I would die if a bull busted through the rickity fence. checking out the rest of the press, surely, I could outrun and scale a fence quicker than the vast majority of them.
the debate finally ended when an eavesdropping matador, hearing that I was from Texas, convinced the director that I was tough enough to stay...his logic? because I am a cowgirl from the same place where Walker, the Texas Ranger lives. thanks chuck.