IMG MGMT: Pixel-Shaming

by Endam Nihan on June 28, 2016 IMG MGMT

[Editor’s Note: IMG MGMT is a series of image-based essays by artists. Endam Nihan is an artist whose work incorporates video, live performance and installation to explore the gendered effects of image circulation in popular media culture. More of her work can be seen on]

The iconic black censorship band has come to symbolize outdated moral shock, to the extent that we primarily understand it now as a gag prop for Halloween costumes and mock-1950s tchotchke in the West. But in Turkey, the media still embraces its original use: under sensational headlines about sexual abuse, such as “He was found not guilty after he impregnated a 15-year-old girl,” the band covers the eyes of women, animals and even objects, implied to protect the identities of the victims.

Yet the censorship has a broader meaning, as stories rarely use images of actual survivors. More often, editors pull from google images and pop culture stars and blur, pixelate, and black out women’s faces: extending abuse by generating a generic stock image of anonymous shame.


“Her uncle molested her and her lover raped her”


“Mystery behind the 21 years old missing girl”

Scandal, abuse in the public bus”: Same story about a girl who was molested by the bus driver, covered by different magazines with different imaging techniques.

6 8


“He was found not guilty after he impregnated a 15-year-old girl”


“Doctor sexually harassed his assistant ”


Sexual harassment caught by security cameras of the hospital”


Rape in the Turkish Bath



He raped a girl that he met online in a building under constructionA story on an online newspaper about a 15 year old raped by a man she met on social media in an under construction building. Read 1869 times.

15“Abuse in the operation room”


“40 Years in Prison for the Anesthetist Who Raped His Patients After They Gave Birth”

2 (1)

“Punishment For The Doctor Who Sexually Harassed His Patients”

3 (1)

“New Mothers Sexually Assaulted in Hospital After Delivery”


“Shocking Decision in Rape Case at Hospital”

5 (1)

“Abuse Scandal at the Hospital”


“Doctor Harassed Patients Who Came for Examinations”


Abuse scandal in Turkish Military


Rape on the plane


“The man who raped the water tank in the elevator”


“The Shoe After the Water Tank; Another shock after the news about the water tank that was abused by a man”  

This is about a man who raped a women’s high heeled shoes which he found in front of a random door. Found image crop from an unknown daily printed newspaper.


“Owner of the Duck just Spoke, I Will Cut this Duck and Feed it to the Other ducks.” This is a story about a duck which was raped.



American actress Sammi Hanratty from the movie An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong.


“11 Year Old Female Student Forced into Marriage.” The cover story is about a forced religious marriage between a 20 year old man and an 11 year old girl from the city of Erzurum in Turkey .


Image of a UK based celebrity with a medical face mask


Burned his ex-wife with nitric acid


Jenelle, star of the tv reality show 16 and Pregnant.


Married at 10, Mother at 14″ 


Professional tennis player Anna Kournikova


This Beauty got pregnant by a 13 year old kid” Read over 20821 times.


English TV personality Holly Willoughby


Again, the American woman impregnated by a 13 year old child she met online

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