The Freedom Tattoos Project

This project caught my eye this week. A positive, forward-thinking, empowering project for ex-prisoners, enabling them to gain those extra steps to finding employment and a fresh start. How refreshing!

The Project offers cover-ups of old prison tattoos – not removal of the tattoos – but cover-ups; developing the old tattoo into something bigger, beautiful and positive. I like that the project isn’t insisting that to find employment, these tattoos (or any tattoo) needs to be removed, or out of site to the general public/employer. I like that the project offers to turn unwanted prison tattoos into “professional, socially well-perceived artistic tattoos” – it unashamedly and without doubt, tells us that tattoos can and should be socially acceptable works of art. I like that the project acknowledges that prison tattoos, however badly executed, were at the time, done for a reason. Like any tattoo that we later regret; at the time, we thought it was a good idea – it meant something, it marked something, we thought it’d be funny. Whatever the reason, there was one. By covering the tattoo rather than removing it, the project encourages the wearer to think of the transformation as progressive rather than an erasing of the past. This is how the tattoo was, this is how the tattoo is now. This is how you were, this is how you are now.