The Untouchables, a 2013 photo series produced by Cuban artist Erik Ravelo, is again making the rounds on social media – perhaps prompted by the latest American school shootings, or more likely because powerful art refuses to die.
“Los Intocables,” which translates to “The Untouchables,” is what Ravelo calls a “human installation,” featuring a variety of issues plaguing children around the world. He believes in the right to a protected childhood. and this theme drives the visually disturbing works.
The images riff on the execution of Christ, featuring children nailed to various oppressors, each “crucified” in direct reference to a contemporary evil. The photos, with the child’s face purposely blurred, are as visually jarring as they are conceptually saddening. “It’s art, it’s communication,” Ravelo explained.
The first image refers to the America’s gun problem. pedophilia in the Vatican. The image below confronts child sexual abuse in Thai tourism.
The images send a clear message, reaffirming the universal right of children to be protected. It was a personal project for Ravelo that sparked heated controversy. He alleged that Facebook censored his postings, and told the Huffington Post, “I had people writing me, threatening me. At first the project was fun but it got a little out of hand.”
His camera caught the ongoing slaughter of children in Syria (above), and the global obesity crisis underpinned by Big Food, below.
And no expose of child abuse can sidestep to pedophilia epidemic in organized religion (below).
Take a look at the full series on Ravelo’s website (link here) and Facebook Page (link here) where he tackles other difficult topics such as rape and war crimes.
Do you believe works like this have power to incite change?