Cuando los perros ladran el caballo los ignora

Oswaldo Macià

When the dogs barks, but it makes no difference to the camel; we are the dogs the world is the camel. (Darfur proverb)

It would seem that we live in a world in permanent crisis. Although we may not always be fully aware of it, this is due to the fact that crises are the few mechanisms that generate changes in our times. In other words, crises are the indispensable catalysts that determine actions capable of transforming today’s personal, social and political scenes.

However, every crisis has a different intensity, iconography and language. We judge and respond to a crisis not only in accordance with our political inclinations and personal tastes but also depending on their immediacy as news and the singularity of its occurrence. Crises compete amongst themselves to gain our attention due to a type of permanent struggle between the innumerable pressure groups of the civil society and the increasingly large financial interests of the global media.

Despite the above, and within that semi-apocalyptic global vision that we all currently seem to share, there is a type of crisis that we consider or sense as more serious than any other: the humanitarian crisis. Our ethical being squirms every time we are reminded of our massacre and genocide capacity. We consider them repulsive crimes because with them we are all ontologically degraded and reduced. They are unjustifiable crimes but, nevertheless, they do not cease to take place.

It is precisely that indifference, that omission in our duty as human beings, which this piece by Oswaldo Macià refers to. With this symphony – composed of 200 dog barks - he reminds us of our capacity to brutalise ourselves and that the case of Darfur is as present as ignominious. The title itself seems to contain a scathing irony, given that if we say "when the dogs barks, but it makes no difference to the camel; we are the dogs the world is the camel" we invoke that double human possibility of, on the one hand, expressing our disagreement and sense of feeling threatened but, at the same time, of also reducing ourselves to the pack of hounds and to injustice aided by our own indifference. Thus, if the world is really an indifferent camel – such as our leaders and international institutions appear to be- we should then go on barking until that listless nomad beast kneels down and hears our unease.

Juan Toledo, London 2006



Composition with 200 sounds of dog barks taken from the municipal dog homes of Sardinia. Composition made for 12 sound channels (2 DVD 5.1), programme brochure and billboard with the text:

when the dogs barks, but it makes no difference to the camel; we are the dogs the world is the camel (Darfur proverb)


Centro Cultural de la Villa de Madrid

Jardines del descubrimiento, S/N

de 14:00 a 23:00 

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