Co.Design

Photographer Stages Death Of Disney Damsels, From Snow White To Cinderella

And they all lived happily never after ...

Magic Mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all? Not Snow White, that’s for sure. Nor Cinderella. Nor any of the other pneumatic fairy-tale heroines who swan about a little girl’s dreams.

That’s because they’re dead.

Thomas Czarnecki killed them. More precisely, the Paris-based photographer staged their deaths in a series of gruesome crime scenes with more than a whiff of sexual violence in the air. There’s Belle face down on a couch, her golden ball gown hiked up around her hips. There’s Sleeping Beauty splayed on a dirty mattress. There’s Alice in Wonderland tied up in a chair with a dead white rabbit at her feet. This stuff makes the Brothers Grimm stories look like Little Golden Books.

The idea, Czarnecki says, is to "create something of clash and culture shock between on one side the naive universe and the innocence of the fairy tales … [and] a much darker reality that is as much a part of our common culture and which is provided to us incessantly through the imagery broadcast through TV, cinema" and other media. In other words, Sleeping Beauty meets The Big Sleep.

[Images courtesy of Thomas Czarnecki]

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17 Comments

  • Lamashtar

    It's a cute idea but not well executed.  The photography work is abysmal.  Doesn't have much to say beyond the very, very obvious "Disney is unrealistic."  Hopefully, someone with more vision and talent will be showcased here in the future.

  • biting lips

    I like the ideas of these pictures, they all portray a different story, something so much more different than what media is doing to the fairy tales these days. The world we live in today is prone to these kind of events, they do happen. Just because someone decides to do something different doesn't have to mean it's wrong. We all learn that rape happens, death happens, anything can happen as we grow up. As beautiful as the world is, it isn't always perfect. I find these set of images stunningly beautiful. So, really, there's nothing wrong with it. We all have a choice to do whatever we want to do, be whoever we want to be. Get over it. Oh, should probably mention that I'm female, by the way. Cheers.

  • Josh

    I agree that these aren't the cleverest photos, but this in in no way something to criticize Suzanne Labarre about.

  • Kim

    First, let me say I'm a woman. Secondly, I don't feel these images are nearly as misogynistic as the actual Disney characters. Most of these characters (at least in recent history) are scantily clad girls with adult female bodies. And the Disney garbage passes as what is supposed to be "normal" in children's lives. We teach them sexual desire before their 5th birthday. And we wonder why there are so many stories about pedophiles in the news....

  • Star Padilla

    I'm not too impressed by the series. I mean I love the idea behind it all. While 'simple' is sometimes 'more' this is lacking a lil. I've seen another series of Disney Royalty deaths that should be getting more recognition than what it is, after seeing this line up. 

  • Todd

    Golly, juxtaposition! Seriously, there's nothing remotely striking or culturally relevant about how these women's murders are portrayed. "More than a whiff"? More like the stench of misogyny, as snuff film meets sexy Halloween costume. How does this article contribute anything outside of the incessant broadcast? Disingenuous, Czarnecki, and disgraceful, LaBarre. 

  • Stef Marcinkowski

    CALCULATED RISK: This photoset seems just racy enough to get people talking and just vague enough to escape legal action. If the photographer really wanted to make a statement, they'd fully commit to the concept of going after the murderer: Disney.

  • Audience

    Shameful. I guess the artist thought using actual children in the photos would be in poor taste. Bad news for women. Violence against women is a pervasive theme in our culture. How is this accepted by Fast Company? Maybe the Co.Design team could use some tips from the Co.Exist team and consider covering stories that contribute something positive to our culture. 

  • blue

    No, these photos are hideous. Just because it evokes a negative reaction does not make it art. Seriously, Rape, kidnapping and what happened to Pocahontas? This violence against women is not art; it's disgusting.

  • Weepingtree

    You are a joke... have a glass of water and ingest some oxygen please..... 

  • Peter

    Seriously, this misogynistic crap passes for art? Can't dudes work out their mommy issues some other way? We live in a world where people get acid thrown in their faces just for being who they are and here some pretentious twit from France wants to dress up his hostility as art and everyone laps it up just because he knows how to light a scene and develop a decent color print. Why do people feel they have to punish sexy women? Shame on Ms. Labarre.

  • Chris

    Seems as if the artist's challenge to convention struck a nerve. I'd say that counts as success on their behalf. Why are you shaming the posting editor for doing their job? Thanks for sharing this with us!