of faces and feathers

What does exclusion do to a story?

When withdrawn from the context of politics, gambling and the history surrounding the bloodsport of rooster fight, what do these birds signify on their own? They are more than just contenders in a blood sport. I've composed these images in a way that these roosters are stripped of all the other narratives and to be looked upon for their majestic yet veiled persona. I wonder if the fights are in fact between two roosters or between two men, or maybe the fights begin with the man and end with the rooster.

Very often these gamecocks represent one more fragment of manifestation of a man's ego upon his environment. At the close of fights, I see the birds are filled with the anger, fear, shame, pride and other remnants of a human condition that goes onto define them. In a way, even though they are not part of the actual imagery, one could sense the man lurking behind these birds.

All these portraits were made of blade-fight cocks from various trainers spread across the western districts of Tamilnadu in India. These are the prize fighters who’ve killed other birds in the arena to remain standing.