PAINTED PIGEONS

Spanish photographer

Richardo Cases' 

newest book

Paloma Al Aire

documents the practice of pigeon racing in the Spanish regions of Valencia and Murcia.  These painted male pigeons aren't racing to a destination, but

chasing

a female pigeon, trying to get her attention.  The winner is the one who spends the most time close to her. . . how the judges determine this I'll never know!

"Raising a male champion entails prestige and profits. Painted in a combination of primary colours, like a flag or a soccer kit, the male pigeon raised and trained to mate becomes a projection of the pigeon-keeper, who embodies its sportive, economic and sexual success or failure in the community. Far from the harsh reality of his daily life, the 

colombaire

 has a second life where he can get to the top. He just needs a champion pigeon. The pigeon-keeper stays on the ground, while his projection is able to fly." -

Dalpine.com

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