Academic journal article Framework

Dossier: Falcon

Academic journal article Framework

Dossier: Falcon

Article excerpt

This section presents a series of documents that outline Peter Whitehead's career as a falconer in Saudi Arabia. Covering the years 1978 to 1991, they provide an insight into his work with Prince Abdullah bin Nasser in Riyadh and then with Prince Khalid Al- Faisal in Abha. His partnership with the latter began in 1982 and involved the establishment of the Al- Faisal Falcon Centre, which during its operation was the largest Falcon breeding centre in the world.

Among the following texts, Whitehead's original contract with Bin Nasser and the two journalistic articles "Return of the Hunter" and "Saving the Falcon from Extinction" are intended to act as expositional pieces that detail the "exterior" aspects of his role as a falconer: methodologies, techniques, and professional practices. In contrast, Whitehead's own texts, particularly the four- part "Oedipus," assume a more interiorized perspective. Taken from the extensive range of writings he produced while in Saudi Arabia, they are frequently concerned with the symbolic, imaginary, and mythological dimensions of his interaction with the falcon: a creature with a rich and complex ritual significance.

Falconry was in one sense a significant departure from Whitehead's previous "lives" as filmmaker and publisher. However, the film proposals Tiresias and Aurora hint that the cinema maintained a certain degree of attraction for him as a potential form of expression. …

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