The language of whistles known as Silbo Gomero – or just el silbo (‘the whistle’) – was once heard widely throughout La Gomera, one of the smallest of the seven main Canary Islands off the Atlantic Coast of Africa. Now it is used only by a few remaining shepherds on the steep hills of La Gomera’s countryside.
A singular form of communication used with both people and animals, in 2009 Silbo Gomero was named a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Angello Faccini’s arrestingly photographed film finds one of Silbo Gomero’s last remaining practitioners reflecting on his fading way of life and its ephemeral language. Picture: Unesco.