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Written on the Body: Tattoo Art as Bridgework in the Post-migration Context
Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), School of Arts and Communication (K3).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0627-6636
2023 (English)In: Journal of Borderlands Studies, ISSN 0886-5655, E-ISSN 2159-1229, p. 1-19Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Scholarly work addressing art and migration has clustered around certain themes: art as therapy, art as expression of identity and memory, art as political mobilization, and art as integration. Similarly, scholars have noted the significance of tattoo art in terms of embodied identity and reclaiming the self after trauma. The overlap between these literatures remains a largely unexplored area of inquiry. This article examines tattooing as an everyday artistic practice in a refugee’s post-migration life. Through an ethnographic case study focusing on Kash, an Iranian man who sought asylum in Sweden, I theorize tattooing as intercultural bridgework (Anzaldúa 2002) functioning in three ways: self-expression, a mode of social integration, and ultimately a transferable skill. This article argues for considering tattoo art as a sustainable (meaning, something that can sustain the artist) art form in the post-migration context. A focus on tattooing as a refugee/migrant practice presents a novel contribution to work on migration and art and allows for an examination of the embodied intersections of expression and integration outside the realm of project-based research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2023. p. 1-19
Keywords [en]
tattoo art, migration, post-migration, intercultural bridgework
National Category
International Migration and Ethnic Relations Media and Communications Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-63049DOI: 10.1080/08865655.2023.2261474ISI: 001080653500001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85173782563OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-63049DiVA, id: diva2:1803631
Part of project
Performing Integration: Participatory Art & New Publics in Malmö, Riksbankens JubileumsfondAvailable from: 2023-10-09 Created: 2023-10-09 Last updated: 2023-11-07Bibliographically approved

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Cory, Erin E

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