Children’s Game #25: Contagio

Malinalco, Mexico, 2021; 5:30 min
In collaboration with Julien Devaux, Elena Pardo, and Félix Blume


An update of tag, the scariest of kids’ games. Instead of the touched person being “frozen,” they are contaminated and activated as viral transmitters. Boys and girls sport face coverings, any colour but red, the colour of contagion, worn by the first It. On catching someone the tagger shouts “Contagio!” and the victim echoes, “Contagiado!” Infected! while changing into a red mask (already glimpsed peeping from pockets, in fatalistic preparedness) to become It. The last child standing cries “Survivor!” In August 2021, 43 Mexican minors officially died of Covid; the true figure would be much higher. Tag was always about the menace of other people, but Contagio is brutally literal.

Lorna Scott Fox

Public domain videos can be downloaded and shared with others as long as the authorship is credited and there is a link back to the website of the author. These videos cannot be altered in any way or used for commercial purpose nor cannot be displayed or exhibited without the consent of the artist.