Cagarros Assembly

My interest in Cory’s shearwater began during a residency in the Azores (Walk & Talk festival, summer 2021), when I was inspired by the raucous sound of these birds returning to their breeding grounds at night. The Cory’s shearwater (Calonectris borealis) is an elusive species of nocturnal seabird that nests in underground burrows on small islands of the North Atlantic Ocean.

The project is an ongoing, consisting of performances, interviews, documentation and volunteer work.

Notes for A Cagarros Assembly (essay-performance)

Cagarros Listening Assembly (listening session-performance)

Approximately 75% of the global population breeds in the Azores (with additional colonies in Madeira and the Canary Islands). Raised in burrows, the young are visually deprived, and this lack of visual stimuli prevents a growing eye from achieving emmetropia, which is the ability to generate a well-focused image.

When the fledglings leave the nest for the first time the artificial lights disorientate the fledglings, so they often become lost, smash into lights or are killed on island roads. Since the birds are no longer killed for food or slaughtered by the Roman Catholic church – who believed that their calls were the voice of the Devil – artificial light has become the largest single threat to their existence. In response, the Regional Government of the Azores has developed an annual campaign, SOS Cagarros, which aims to engage the local population and encourage them to rescue young Cory’s shearwaters.

(special thanks to SPEA, Tania Pipa, Beatriz Martins, Azucena Martin, Elizabeth Atchoi)