Review of Spanish version of Cruelty Bites (Mundo cruel) in leading cultural supplement in Spain, El Cultural, of the daily newspaper El Mundo. By Cecilia Frías. Published on 13.02.2015.
English translation provided below.
Ellen Duthie and Daniela Martagón
Wonder Ponder, 17,95€. (8 and up)
Entering Cruelty Bites is like looking at yourself in a mirror where you don't always like what you see. All this in fourteen cards representing a series of apparently inoffensive scenes. But all you need to do it stop and look at each of the images to discover situations that exude cruelty. Thus, we have the picture of a girl squashing an ant’s head with the point of her pencil, a scene of a father forcing his son to bathe despite the boy's desperate cries for help, or the scene of some siblings teasing a baby caged in its cot, defenceless. This is only a sample, but the questions on the back of each scene give us food for thought for months. Is it cruel to make someone do something they don’t want to do? Why can being cruel sometimes be fun? Are some lives worth more than others? Can one be cruel without meaning to? Does it make sense to punish cruelty with cruelty?
The winds unleashed turn into this flood of questions that do not always find unequivocal answers, but which, through these familiar scenes, make us aware of the dark corners of human behaviour, of how any one of us can become a victim, of how revenge, entertainment or curiosity can lead us to cruel behaviour or of whether animal cruelty is not as important. A work of “visual philosophy” that prompts dialogue and confrontation of positions. A book-in-a-box that everyone should read. Few things could be more invigorating than the invitation on the box: “Open, look, think.”. CECILIA FRÍAS