Among Bali’s many traditions cockfights are non-arguably brutal – and therefore illegal in most of the western world. What makes it even more vicious on Bali, compared to other countries, is the fact that here, they attach blades to the feet of the roosters. These small knifes are razor sharp and end fights much quicker – and bloodier – than a regular fight would.
As betting is a huge part of its appeal to many locals, cockfighting is highly regulated and – from what I understand – only officially allowed in combination with certain religious or other traditional festivities. (Although one restaurant owner, who saw me editing the photos for this blog post, told me, that there are fights every day of the week.)
Almost all of the Balinese people we spoke to, do not like cockfighting. I guess it is probably similar to bullfighting in Spain: traditions die hard, even the brutal ones.
It is a fascinating spectacle to experience and lends itself for the kind of documentary photography I love to do. So here it goes:
All images were taken with the Fuji X-T1 and either the 35mm or the 23mm XF lens.