"Summer is ours": Spanish government advertises "Body Positivity" – and collects Shitstorm from those affected

The government's campaign is dubbed a "disaster" by the newspaper "El Español".

"Summer is ours": Spanish government advertises "Body Positivity" – and collects Shitstorm from those affected

The government's campaign is dubbed a "disaster" by the newspaper "El Español". A campaign designed by the Spanish Women's Institute against discrimination has emerged in recent days as an example of women's rights violations and "economic violence," as one Twitter user described it.

"My picture is being used by the Spanish government in a campaign, but they didn't ask for my picture or my permission!" Brit Nyome Nicholas-Williams shared on Instagram on Friday. "I'm exhausted. I'm drained. It's all too much," reads her comment in the description.

It is the second time in the last two years that her body has been used by someone else. Another affected woman reported over the weekend: Siân Green-Lord appeared on the scene.

Green-Lord is the woman on the left. With black sunglasses and a drink in hand, she poses alongside the four other women on the beach. The original photo is from her Ibiza vacation. She shows up there with the exact same pose.

But one important body feature is missing: the prosthesis on the left leg has been retouched – on a “Body Positivity” poster. In a story, she shared her reaction: "It's one thing to use my picture without my permission, but using my prosthetic leg on my body is more than wrong!"

The third unsolicited protagonist in this story is Juliet FitzPatrick. In the stern interview, she said she was "shocked". She is certain: she is the woman standing on the left. On the poster, she smiles and is happy with her body. She has one breast, the second was removed from her.

But this woman is obviously not just FitzPatrick: FitzPatrick herself had both breasts removed while she was suffering from cancer. Her guess: It's her head mounted and edited on another woman's body.

Both images could be from Ami Barwell's "Masectomy" photo series. Juliet was part of this series in 2019. When asked by stern, the photographer replied: "There seem to be great similarities, but the only person who can give absolute clarity as to the source of these images is the so-called 'artist' who is responsible for responsible for the advertising campaign."

The alleged picture theft also has consequences for the photographer herself: Barwell is currently investigating possible illegal abuse. Previously, she was "bombarded with questions on Twitter." "If these images have been used and manipulated without my consent, I am outraged," she wrote in her reply to the star.

The trust between her as a photographer and the model is very important. If someone abuses that trust by using and degrading an image without her consent, it is "deeply immoral," Barwell said in her statement.

The designer of the poster is "Arte Mapache". She left a heart emoji comment on Nyome's Instagram post: "Hi! I sent you a direct message." A short message intended to replace an official request for image rights permission.

On Twitter, she expressly apologized to all those affected: "It was never my intention to abuse her image, but to transfer the inspiration that women like Nyome Nicholas, Raissa Galvão... represent to my illustration," it reads Artist's Twitter statement on July 28.

Since then, "Arte Mapache" has gone into hiding. She wanted to "clarify everything as quickly as possible" and "repair the damage caused," says her last tweet. The designer is trying to resolve this matter privately with those involved.

Both the Ministry and Minister for Equality Irene Montero removed the posters from their social media over the weekend – without justification.

Apparently, those affected were not informed uniformly either. Jule FitzPatrick wrote to Stern: "I received a message from the Spanish Women's Institute, which commissioned the campaign. They apologized for the use of unauthorized images and said they only found out about it after the poster was finished."

Ami Barwell, on the other hand, has not yet received a personal message: "I have contacted both 'Arte Mapache' and the Spanish government and asked for clarification about these pictures, but have received no answer."

"The campaign could have been great if I had been asked to photograph it with the 'real' women in the stolen images," says Ami Barwell. But Arte Mapache made a mistake. She has been inspired and disregarded data protection and image rights.

A positive story turned into a dark drama with an open end. Froilán I de España's tweet summarizes the disaster well: "Summer is ours too. What doesn't concern us so much are the image rights of the women we show on the poster. No aesthetic violence against these bodies, but a lot of economic ones Force."

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