What is freedWhat is freedom?
What does it mean knowing where to return to?

TRAVELLERS

 

This work is about the history of racing pigeons, their daylife in their lofts, their flights and journeys over unknown spaces to fly back home.

 

Racing pigeons are emotionally tightened to the place they choose as their home. The "room" they select in their loft represent more than a nest, it's a safe place to get back to after hours, days even weeks of flight.

 

Once employed in war to carry secret messages to distant places, nowadays racing or carrier pigeons are bred and trained by people fond of these animals to take part in small and great competitions.

 

Before the race the pigeons are load on a lorry and then taken to the place designed for the launching, sometimes more than 1000 km away. Usually at 6 am the pigeons are freed all together at the same time. During the journey back home, smaller and smaller flocks take shape. Some of them die along the road, other ones come back in a transport of passion to see their mate, after days of forced abstinence before the departure (breeders call it "the widowhood principle"). It's a fight against time and troubles of the trip. It's waiting to come back.

 

Pigeons are sensitive to earth's magnetic field. Some researchers say that for subtle sense of direction they utilize even smell, hearing and sometimes sight. Up to today nobody knows with precision how does pigeon's sense of direction work, neither how does their memory work and what they remember during their journeys.

 

Their journeys are always return journeys.