United World Project


“Sons and Daughters”: artist Luvol’s commitment to children’s rights

17 March 2023   |   , ,
Federico Luvol

The artist travelled to the Middle East to narrate what the children of those tormented lands live and to contribute to the good and peace through his art: “Sons & Daughters”, the project born from the collaboration with the Ohana association.

“During the Syrian conflict, I was very shaken as I saw the image of two Syrian sisters after a chemical attack. And so, I wanted to depict those horrible shots, in which I simultaneously saw mercy and boundless love” Luvol narrates, stage name of the Italian photo stencil artist, Federico Vullo.

Self-taught, class of 1991, he became passionate of “stencil art” by observing the techniques of artists of international caliber. What does “stencil art” consist of? In the making of graffiti or murals through a “stencil”, a mask which allows its reproducibility.

Among the themes dear to Luvol is the genuineness of children in play, through images that portray their innocence and lightheartedness. He does his works on different surfaces, but his favorite are the typical urban context ones, such as disused road signs or other forgotten and rusty surfaces. Luvol does it for passion, and this passion that goes beyond art itself, touches the humanity often forgotten in difficult times.

Recently he started a project in collaboration with the Ohana volunteering association that is entitled “Sons & Daughters” that wants to retrace the so-called ‘Balkan route’ to denounce the state in which entire families, and especially children, find themselves on their way to Europe. Through his art Luvol wants to put at the center of the media’s attention these refugee children, who are forced to flee from countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, as they experience other hells in the form of walls, barbed wire, hunger, frost and abuse.

Everything was born “by chance” in 2021 when he was contacted via a Facebook message by the Community of Sant’Egidio to conduct a stencil art course for some unaccompanied minors. The course never took place. But in getting to know them, Luvol also discovered that there was a kindergarten for children in Aleppo related to the Focolare community. He immediately reached out to them, firstly asking them for photographs to create some stencils and then, intrigued by the work they were doing, he took a ticket to Beirut and reached Syria by land.

Luvol’s passion brought him to cross the Mediterranean and land in the Middle East, where he had the occasion to learn about various projects related to Focolare Movement and visit various refugee camps. Then, he managed to realize his works as well as workshops in different cities of Syria, Turkey, Greece and Palestine.

“Frequenting these places, I saw some difficult and also sad situations, but one thing that remained with me is the dignity in the eyes of these people. It is something that gave me a value and that I will try transmitting in some way” Luval narrates. And adds: “I would like to raise people’s awareness, communicating – through a game, a smile or a glance that I paint on the walls – that it is worth fighting for peace”.

99% of the faces that Luvol draws are born from photographs shot by himself, fruit of an encounter and of relations woven with people. Like in Riham’s case, a young Syrian who, fled with her family during the war, was forced to quit school to work and help her brothers and sisters (they are 10 in all!). “I decided to depict Riham at Bethlehem, on the “wall of shame”, for all the refugees and children who find themselves forced to grow up with abuse and crime, in the face of general indifference” Luvol narrates moved, referring to the wall erected by Israel since 2002.

Even if the Middle East is known for its various conflicts, Luvol feels that the difficulty is not when you reach there but once you go back home, because in the Middle East you find a lot of openness, availability, hospitality and humanity. “When you return, there is unfortunately the unawareness of the people who do not realize of other’s sufferings, especially of the children, lived on the other side of the Mediterranean. When you return, you see you have everything, and you complain about nothing. Sometimes, it seems surreal to me to hear and see that the news that arrives is totally distorted in relation to reality”, Luvol adds.

After this experience, our young artist continues to think of the future steps of his project, with the certainty that this is just the first great chapter of a long story, where passion and art meet, to spread the good and peace.

“I hope that in the future there will be no more need to narrate of the suffering of children, who are the future of all of us, because we will care for them as we should. That’s all!” he concludes.

To know more on the project “Sons & Daughters” or on the purchase of Luvol’s works, just write to: projects@ohanaodv.com or visit Luvol’s Instagram profile: @federicoluvol