Presented with the violent spectacle, the camera is as versatile as it is potent. It can expose the aggressors of the world or aggrandize them; it can redeem victims or humiliate them further; it can create empathy in the viewer, render them complicit, or simply desensitize them.
I explore how these effects co-exist through images of Louisiana cockfighters during the final year of legal cockfighting in the United States. The manual (culled from historical texts) was created to honor the history of the sport in the last state to outlaw it. It is a testament to the evolution of our values system as a nation and a people. Cockfighting once took place on the White House lawn. It was an Upper-class Gentleman's sport. It is now officially outlawed on US soil. This work explores what the spectacle means now that its particular brand of violence has come to be seen as unnecessary and meaningless.