If you thought "Balenciagagate" was over, think again. A company in Ukraine that specializes in alternative photography produces content that glamourizes the sexualization and abuse of children.
*Please note this article contains disturbing images. Intended for readers aged 18 and older.*
Disturbing photos of minors have begun circulating online after users discovered an Instagram account full of inappropriate pictures. The account in question is owned by @grsdkyiv, and it belongs to a company called Gorsad Kyiv. The majority of their photographs include small children being abused. Below, there's a photo of two little boys with their heads in plastic bags. There's another image of a little girl lying in bed with a choker on, and another minor is seen with a chain around her neck.
In the post below, a young girl wrapped in a plastic bag lies in bed, and a blonde girl – who looks to be younger than 7 – poses provocatively in minimal clothing and heels.
According to their official website, Gorsad is a Kyiv-based "trio of artists" named Masha Romaniuk, Ulik Romaniuk, and Vitya Vasylie. They "specialize on alternative photography and provocative video," and their works "are mainly focused on youth, feelings and sexuality in all their peculiarities and oddities." They often collaborate with fashion publications.
Their list of clients includes TTSWTRS, Litkovskaya, Luxoptica, Skim milk LA, Tender and Dangerous, HOOD BY AIR, Alan Badoev, Max Barskih, Ariel Pink, Dazed magazine, Desillusion Skatebording, and Cashbroke. Gorsad's work has been published in large magazines including Vogue, L'officel, Numero, Liberation, Dazed magazine, Kapital-noviny, I-D, Vice, Dust, Tush, Trip mag, Tissue Mag, S Mag, and more.
One user, @itsnatlydenise, discovered some of their other work on Instagram. Gorsad shared an image they were proud of, and it was selected by none other than Vogue. It showed a frail minor nearly naked in bed, hugging her knees to her chest.
Their other pictures were more graphic. They had one of two underaged males staring up at someone's crotch. Another photograph included two minors licking lollipops.
In one headline about Gorsad written by Numero, a rough translation states: "The corrupt innocence of Ukrainian youth under the eye of the Gorsad collective."
The Ukrainian legal system currently does not have a clear definition for "prostitution" and "child prostitution." This means that the country levies harsh punishments for the involvement of children in commercial sex work, but the clients are not typically prosecuted. As a result, the victimized children become liable for their own abuse and exploitation.
Don’t miss anything! Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get curated content weekly!