Disney & Incest: an Unlikely Pairing

Disney & Incest: an Unlikely Pairing

3rd July 2014 // By Tara Watson // Dangerous Ideas

A seldomly-discussed social message is being expressed by pop artist Saint Hoax through her pop series titled ‘Princest Diaries’, a collection of animated posters, portraying our favourite Disney princesses in compromising positions, shockingly kissing their own fathers.

In a campaign to encourage victims of child abuse and incest to speak out, the Middle Eastern artist Hoax said she was inspired to create the disturbing animated images after discovering a close friend was raped by her father at age seven.

"That story shocked me to my core, as an artist/activist I decided to shed light on that topic again in a new form. I used Disney princesses because it's a visual language that my targeted audience would be attracted to," Hoax told Huffington Post.

Instead of common images such as Jasmine kissing Aladdin, Jasmine is seen in the image kissing her father, the Sultan, leaving the audience uncomfortable. Hoax said she chose Disney specifically as the intended audience of their films are children while Disney has not yet commented on the use of their images. 

"Forty-six percent of minors who are raped are victims of family members. It's never too late to report your attack," says the posters. The campaign uses the technique of putting images familiar to children in unfamiliar positions, to make the viewer question the normality of some relationships and the power struggles between parents and children. 

The poster series carries a significant level of social weight at home and abroad. In Australia, according to the Australian Institute of Criminology, child sexual abuse perpetrated by a parent is estimated at 15 percent of the population.

However, the animations have also been met with critique and controversy, with some concerned that associating a children's cartoon with incest will damage a child's memories and perceptions of their favourite Disney films, while others have blatantly labeled the series creepy and disturbing. 

Hoax recently said to Daily Mail UK that his campaign is already working and has received correspondence from a victim of abuse. "I received an email from a girl thanking me for the project and telling me that she decided to report her father after seeing the posters. I actually cried," said Hoax.

As confronting as the images may be, the success of such a campaign will be found in whether it leads to greater long-lasting awareness and a boost in outreach from the victims.