photoshopped images of kim kardashian and other celebrities are being used in a domestic violence campaign
A controversial campaign is literally making celebrities the face of domestic violence without their consent.
Image via Instagram
Artist and activist aleXsandro Palombo has photoshopped images of Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Miley Cyrus, Emma Watson, and others to appear battered and bruised for the No Woman is Immune from Domestic Violence project. The confronting images are run with the words "Life can be a fairytale, if you break the silence".
While we chose not to run the images here, they can be seen on the artist's Twitter
Speaking to the Daily Mail, aleXsandro justified his use of the women's images by saying the work highlighted the fact DV doesn't occur on the fringes of society. He goes on to call domestic violence a "social cancer" that can impact anyone—no matter their financial or social situation.
There's no doubt the images are confronting, and will start conversations about the visibility and insidiousness of violence against women, but that doesn't mean they're faultless. While people have been sharing the works with the hashtag #ArtForaGoodCause, and many women have Tweeted their support, the images were used without the subject's permission.
Putting the campaign's arguable glibness aside, it's a woman's right to decide whether she wants to be the face of any campaign, no matter how worthy. While Emma Watson and Angelina Jolie (who is also featured) have spoken about their support and work with women in vulnerable situations, that doesn't mean they've consented to this man's campaign. Many of the other celebrities have chosen to keep their opinions and experiences private.
Additionally, Kim Kardashian—whose image has been shared the most widely—has a history marred by assault. In 2010 court documents were leaked that detailed alleged abuse by her first husband, music producer Damon Thomas in 2003. In the documents Kim spoke about her experiences of physical and emotional abuse and isolation while living with Damon. Documents reveal he made her quit her job, limited her contact with family, and hit her.
Kim has only briefly spoken about her experiences publicly, and clearly wants to leave them in the past, a decision she has the right to make. Experiencing something traumatic doesn't automatically mean you need to embrace the role of activist. Many people who have experienced DV may want to, but those who don't have the right to to deal with the issue, in private, however they choose.
AleXsandro's series forces Kim, and possibly the other women featured, to relive a very private event in public.
AleXsandro has previously given similar treatment to cartoon characters, presenting them as DV, breast cancer, acid attack, and eating disorder survivors. Good intentions aside, maybe he should stick to fictional subjects.