old and new

One of these good newsfeed days when more than just a few links proved to be interesting!

Let’s start with some history: ‘a secret story of women and tattoos’ focuses on such women as Nora Hilderbrandt, Betty Broadbent and others.  From Germany an interview with an iconic figure of the tattoo scene, Henk schiffmacher.

Very odd news from Russia: Russian soldiers are encouraged to look for intimate tattoos on each other.

Definitely interesting: ‘sociologists find similarities in meanings behind protestant work ethics and modern religious tattoos’!

Do tattoos hurt job seekers?’ from NC and another about ear stretching with some comments pointing out that sooner or later those into ear stretching now will regret it later down the road.

A book focused on Stockholm straight from the Millennium Trilogy (with tattoo parlors covered, too).

A short video of Matt Gone at Venezuela Tattoo Expo (a short slide show here).

And finally an interesting interview with the actress playing the main character in ‘American Mary’ (should I watch this movie???) where she states an interesting thing: The body modification people in this film are the most normal, well-adjusted, happy people, whereas the other people who are socially accepted and are idolised like doctors, surgeons, they’re the most fucked up.

Book review: Wings of Desire: Learning To Fly. 2002 – 2012

ImageMore often than not, great dreams begin with small, almost accidental things and only after looking back we are able to notice a pattern that Destiny, or rather ourselves, creates for us. In Håvve’s case, it was coming across the *in*famous Modern Primitives book that so many of us interested in body modification also have on our bookshelves. The rest, one could say, is history.

All sorts of (hi)stories, however, possess the background; all of them are a process of slowly getting to the point you want to be at, building on your dreams and desires in order to fulfill your dreams. It’s never easy and it’s hardly ever happening right away. And that’s what this book is about – a moving account of how it happened that Håvve first learned how to fly himself only to move to the next stage of the process – sharing it with others.

If you have ever met Håvve, you know how active, omnipresent and caring he is. You also feel how much the guy knows about things he does and how intimidating it may seem to a newbie who just wants to try suspension for the first time. Here Håvve uncovers yet another face of his – this of an ignoramus making countless mistakes on his way to become a modern shaman and an ancient showman in one.

‘Learning To Fly’ is very honest! You can sense how both proud and humble Håvve is about his achievements (and achievements it is – having built from a scrap one of (if not) the best suspension teams in the world that keeps thriving no matter what obstacles they come across and are forced to tackle). He is humble enough to admit his past mistakes and his always present desire not only to grow his own wings but also to learn and develop in order to make suspending safer for those involved. At the same time he’s proud to show his readers where he came from, what he has done and become and what he would like to be!

Going through this book is also like discovering my own experiences anew! In the pictures selected for the book (all by Håvve’s sister, Helen, who is a wonderful photographer!) I could see people I met in the past, talked to and enjoyed their company. Here is Bena’s intense chest suspension and a few pages further down the book there’s this wonderful, intimate tandem suspension done by Bena and his wife Evelina who is such a great, kind person. There’s Rolf with his heavily tattooed body and countless piercings, a familiar face and yet still a man of mystery. There’s a statement from Peter, a Swedish guy whose love of and passion for suspension could move even the biggest enemy of the act. There are photographs filled with subtlety and fragility right next to pictures filled with humor and broad smiles despite the seemingly painful background of metal hooks and ropes. With every page you turn, you discover how differently you can look at and experience the act of suspension and you never even get to think in terms of ‘ouch’ as you are so filled with both awe and simple “WOW.”

For Håvve this book is probably a way to step back for a moment, to look back and see what he and his team has achieved and what else is yet to be done. For the readers of his book there are many more possibilities – we can just enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of ‘Learning to Fly,’ we can go through it and start (or keep) dreaming about trying it one day (or again), we can study people shown in here and wonder what it’s like to be in their place, we can learn from Håvve’s own lessons and prepare for our own big moment. Or we just can have fun and think how cool the whole concept is. It’s up to us how to read it but one thing is obvious – it’s a book to treasure and the efforts of the people involved are there to be appreciated.

Big thanks to Bastian for having given me a possibility not only to own the book but also to get back in time to the moment we met for the first time!

May the Fate have much pain joy and many hooks in our future! 😉

Havve Fjell, Wings of Desire: Learning to Fly. 2002 – 2012, PS Media 2012.

tattoos everywhere

Vladimir Franz didn’t win the presidential elections in Czech Repubic but here we have an interesting poll showing that maybe tattoos aren’t such a big political turn-off after all?

Dress code-related: Ottawa hospital staff can sport visible body modifications! Shifting taboos on tattoos at work, millennials and tattoo trends and, from a different perspective, young people in India removing tribal tattoos!

Tattoos and exhibits: non-body-art by tattoo artists and an exhibit focused on female tattoo artists.

The Soska sisters and their ‘American Mary’ movie!

A nice submission from Bastian: text tattoos as a way for our bodies to twit 😉

people-oriented mostly

The Czech Republic citizens are in the middle of the presidential election, so no wonder that Vladimir Franz, one of the candidates, gets a lot of attention.

Steve Haworth appeared on Huffington Post.

Dave Navarro appeared in a new ad for PETA (here another one about him).

If you are thinking about getting a tattoo and possess an iPhone, you may consider getting this app.

Here’s what you can do with latex and Sharpies if you are talented and imaginative.

all’s new even if it’s old

It’s a new year, so let’s be positive for  a change! The author of this interesting piece on symbolism of ear piercing probably didn’t mean it to sound so pro-ear piercing but since we can interpret things in many ways …

New Zealand in the spotlight: tourists coming to this country very often get  traditional ta moko-inspired tattoos. Also from New Zealand an article about traditional lifestyle in Papua New Guinea.

Books: “Anonymity” was inspired by a homeless girl with a tattooed face. Wonder if it’s interesting? I downloaded a Kindle sample from Amazon and will check it out (or at least a few free pages of it!)

Some forms of body modification may indeed seem scary most people out there, so maybe that’s playing on this sentiment: “American Mary” horror is about the underworld of body modification.