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Could This Be Magic? Tattooing as Liberation WorkPublisher Afterlife Press
Author Tamara Santibañez
Tattooing can be transformative—a way to create a new version of yourself. A tattoo can be a coping strategy, a manifesto, a bold declaration. Tattoos are armor. Being able to access these types of expression can make us feel more free as individuals, and affirms the values that bring us into ourselves. Artists do not tattoo in a void—we tattoo in a world that is governed by social forces and structural oppression. We cannot escape or ignore the lived experiences of ourselves or those who sit down to get work done. When we approach this responsibility with intention and clarity, we step into the ability to facilitate empowerment and healing. In providing an experience where a client is affirmed and treated with respect, we can interrupt the cycles of trauma that they live through in the world at large and work towards collective justice. We both mark and witness these moments for individuals, conjuring temporary autonomous zones and movement towards collective liberation.