TRAPPED (2017)

HD, 13 min

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In September 2016 I set off to the island of Cyprus, where every Autumn the largest massacre of songbirds in Europe takes place. 15,000 birds are estimated to lose their lives each night during the Autumn migration, amounting to 2.5 million birds a year. Traditionally the birds were caught with glue to be boiled and eaten, but today, with the practice being long outlawed, the dish has become an expensive delicacy and can cost around €50-80 per serving. By joining environmental activists from CABS (Committee Against Bird Slaughter), who have been fighting for a decade to put an end to this practice, I learnt that the bird trapping business feeds an estimated €15 million into the black market and uses extensive trapping methods employing kilometres of mist-nets and powerful electronic callers to lure in the birds. While industrial trapping decimates the wild populations of small songbirds, it remains a question why the local Cypriot and British authorities aren't doing more to put an end to this massacre.

This is a film that happened nearly by accident. I hadn't planned on making, and I wasn't carrying any filmmaking equipment with me it. I, at the time, merely wanted to find out more about the topic, and offer my time and energy in the hope of saving a few migrants. But once I landed in Cyprus I realised this was a story that needed to be told, so I grabbed my small camera and with a single 35mm lens, without a tripod or a microphone, I started shooting. 

© 2019 by GRETA SANTAGATA

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