"THE MEMORY OF JESUS IS BOTH SACRED AND SUBVERSIVE"
Sunday, 22 September 2013
PROTECTING CHILDREN IS EVERYBODY'S DUTY
Cuban artist Erik Ravelo's photo project "Los Intocables", depicting violence against children in various contexts,including the Catholic Church, is raising a storm
The paedophilia scandal continues to haunt the Catholic Church, this time through the realm of art – though some may disagree about how appropriate the use of the term “art” is in the case of Cuban artist Erik Ravelo’s project “Los Intocables” (The Untouchables).
Ravelo recently published a controversial photo collection, featuring images of children “crucified” to the backs of a number of symbolic figures representing different contexts in which violence is notoriously inflicted on children. “The images refer to paedophilia in the Vatican, child sex tourism in Thailand, the war in Syria, the trafficking of black market organs "donated" by children in the third world and obesity,” Australian website news.con.aureports. “Erik Ravelo took a series of photos of children hung like Jesus from a cross, but in the place of the cross were soldiers, surgeons, priests and Ronald McDonald,” the website explains.
The image which points the finger at the Catholic Church, depicts a young boy in nothing but his underwear, pinned to the back of a Catholic cardinal. It is a painful reminder of the sex abuse scandal that has plagued the Catholic Church in recent years.
Ravelo said he took the photos to make a point about the state of childhood in the world, though numerous complaints have been made about the degree of nudity in the pictures. Ravelo has continued to publish the photos despite Facebook having removed them and shut down his account, news.con.au reports.
Many comments on the artist’s Facebook page (most of them in Spanish) seem to show a positive reaction to Ravelo’s interpretation of the crude reality of sex abuse against children.
In a statement to Argentinian newspaper Clarín, Ravelo said: “What a coincidence that they should only remove the photo of the cardinal. I think many people get irritated when someone tells it like it is and now they are annoyed at the fact my art is so frank,” Ravelo told Clarín.
According to the website, Ravelo, a Christian, said the religious icon of Jesus on the Cross does not belong to any one person or group.
"The religious icon is not someone's else religious icon. It's my icon too, it's my culture, it's my education, it's the way I was taught to communicate. So, in any case I'm talking about me too,” the artist apparently said.