Notes for a Cagarros Assembly, 2022
Essay-performance (film, live narration, sound), 45 minutes commissioned by Centre Pompidou for Cartographies series + Walk & Talk Festival, São Miguel, Azores

Click here for 2 EXCERPTS

Excerpt from script:
There has always been some species of shearwaters breeding in the rocky outcrops of islands in the Atlantic Ocean. But there are no myths or folklore––nothing that the conservationist can think of anyway––about the shearwaters.... unlike their cousins in the southern hemisphere... the albatross.

But there’s one story, I’ve heard several times... about the revenge killings of cagarros that wiped out the entire population....on an island southeast of here.

Every year the fledglings were harvested for food right after they were deserted by the parents. One uninhabited island was said to yield a yearly harvest of 20,000 young cagarros in three weeks. The meat was preserved with salt, the downy feathers were shipped to England to stuff pillows and the bird’s fat was melted down to grease tools.

In the 1960s, a wealthy conservationist, outraged by the annual slaughter, bought the island
and the hunting rights from Portugal’s fascist regime. He turned the island into a nature reserve. The fishermen were no longer allowed to harvest the birds. Instead, the conservationist paid them to be wardens of the reserve and to build infrastructure on the island. But then, the dictatorship in Portugal collapsed,
the new government took the island back,
and the fishermen slaughtered all the cagarros (both the adults and the chicks) in revenge.

{play morto clip, pause after grabbing neck}

Centre Pompidou (Cartographies series), Paris
Walk & Talk Festival, Azores (Estudio 13)
Centro do Mar, Horta, Azores
Multiuso, Corvo, Azores
Centro Cultural do Vila Franca do Campo,  Azores
Municipal Library, Graciosa, Azores