Greens call Spain to prohibit ableist show of persons with dwarfism
Amusing or pitiful: that seems to be the eternal label our society wants to attach to people of short stature.
Instead of counteracting this ableist image, it is being reinforced in Spain by a folk festival - far removed from the idea of equality.
In Cantillana near Seville, on 18.02.23 at 5 p.m., there will be an event with the small "torero comedians" "Comico Taurino".
Similar to bullfighting, this is a regional tradition for the whole family. The only difference is that the performers are people and not animals: Persons of small stature imitate the bullfight as clowns with calves (without bloodshed), it is meant to amuse.
The Spanish Committee for Persons with Disabilities CERMI and several little peoples associations and foundations like ALPE, Crecer or ADEE España demand that this kind of event is no longer tolerated politically.
Only last year in Madrid, a similar show called "Popeye Torero con sus Enanitos Marineros" (Popeye Bullfighter with his Sailor Dwarfs) was cancelled. In Andalusia, however, the demand for abolition still remains unsuccessful after long years of intense discussions and negotiations with politicians.
Green MEPs and the European Disability Forum support the demand of the associations and call for a stop of these events - under the hashtags #StopComicoTaurino and #AbleismTellsMe.
Green MEP Katrin Langensiepen, Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Group of People with Disabilities, is outraged:
"It is hard to believe that these kinds of events are still tolerated today. Persons of small stature are paraded here, reduced to objects of amusement. It is time to break with this ableist tradition.
According to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the EU Disability Strategy, Member States are obliged to promote equality.
It is our political duty to establish and empower people with disabilities as equal members of our society, to promote structures for equal opportunities in education and employment and to counteract discrimination - these kind of events only do the opposite."