Titled “The Untouchables” in English, this shock art project by Cuban photographer Erik Ravelo is meant to horrify viewers into advocating for the safeguarding of innocent children victimised across the globe by dubious and exploitative industries. Shocking is indeed an appropriate adjective for the images; one does not feel easily accustomed to seeing a portly nine year-old nailed crucifixion-style to the back of Ronald McDonald, the red-wigged fast-food colossus.
Each of the seven stomach-churning photographs, which have been banned from Facebook and can be seen below, is meant to showcase violence and abuse inflicted on children by oppressive international institutions and profitable-but-ghastly practices. The photographs were commissioned by the UNHATE FOUNDATION, which boasts the motto “The right to childhood should be UNTOUCHABLE.” Molestation of pre-adolescent boys by Vatican priests is highlighted, as is the devastating loss of guiltless youth in the Syrian civil war. Black market organ-trafficking is shamed alongside rampant childhood obesity, sex tourism in Thailand, and bloody, automatic weapons-assisted shooting-sprees in American schools.
Ravelo challenges audiences’ comfort levels in order to procure safety and unblemished contentment for future young generations. By making us squirm, perhaps the message behind Los Intocables can foster an uncorrupted future, rid of today’s brutal enterprises that so nonchalantly lay waste to guilelessly blossoming life.
Images by Erik Ravelo