The Tattoo Project: Creating a Digital Archive for Commemorative Tattoos


Project Summary:

The Tattoo Project is one of originality and social innovation. No such project or archive exists. Tattoo research offers critical insight into highly significant aspects of culture, discourses within it, and social relations. While the cultural significance of tattoos is well established. While there is a significant body of literature about tattoos as body modification, there is no significant body of literature on tattoos as commemoration. Our project is a form of public scholarship in public mediated digital space.

Project Description:

Directed at both the co-production and mobilization of knowledge, the purpose of the digital archive is fourfold: (1) to create a repository for commemorative tattoos, a forum which will enable the public to share their commemorative tattoos and contextualizing narratives, empowering users to make the project a social tool of their own; (2) to develop this repository as a cultural heritage site, which will preserve and circulate this unique artistic form of expressing and memorializing contemporary lived experience; (3) to provide scholars with a digital database for analysis; and (4) to develop ongoing relationships among academics, professionals (e.g., artists, counsellors and social workers, and celebrants) and the public (with and without tattoos).

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