"I consider tattooing as a medical treatment for my generation"
September 25, 2019 12:18 PM   Subscribe

'A silent act of resistance': the hidden tattoo studios of Tehran: Tattoo artists are regularly arrested in Iran and sentenced to fines, lashes or imprisonment – yet they are in huge demand among young people. “I consider tattooing as a medical treatment for my generation,” [Soheil Aflaki] says. “It’s a way to heal the psychological wounds you sustain while living in a culture in crisis.”
posted by not_the_water (4 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Really interesting article, thanks for sharing!

“I consider tattooing as a medical treatment for my generation,” [Soheil Aflaki] says.

Interesting statement, given that in 2001, the South Korean Supreme Court declared that only doctors, a very powerful lobby in the country, were legally allowed to give tattoos. Yet very few doctors will do so, as tattoos are considered immoral by much of South Korean society (Roads and Kingdoms), pushing tattoo artists there to grey markets, as in Iran.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:30 PM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Tattoos are frowned on in Japan as well. Gyms and public baths often ban visible tattoos. They are regarded as something only outcasts and criminals would have.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:37 PM on September 25, 2019

I find it interesting that cosmetic tattooing is allowed, but I'm not surprised. Cosmetic tattooing is largely about fitting in, or fitting a mainstream idea of beauty. Artistic tattooing is the very often the opposite, especially custom work.
posted by evelvenin at 3:57 AM on September 26, 2019

Tattoos as an act of resistance, rebellion and (radical) self-expression. Hell yes.

There are many other things that are not allowed in Iran, like graffiti, rock music and hip-hop.

Three more things that don't tend to care if they are allowed or not.

I have nothing but respect for these brave people embracing what they love.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:31 AM on September 26, 2019

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