In the African societies, facial tattoos or scarifications always were a symbol of the social statuses. One would usually get a scarf during the ritual ceremonies (weddings, hunts, celebration of adulthood, pregnancy, etc.).
But, what do you see when you observe popular facial tattoos in the European societies?
Mark Leaver is a social photographer and he has to say something about it. One of his latest projects called Tattoos represents a mistery of the body decoration. What is always interesting about tattoos in the European context is the reason behind it.
Sometimes is just a body decoration, the way people describe beauty or attractiveness. Sometimes is the way someone feels about specific life occasion they want to be forever remembered. People often like to be seen as somebody else. Tattoos can make them look differently but what is a permanent question is how they feel “inside”.
The amazing portraits made by Mark Leaver definitely made me wonder about a “secret life” behind these facial tattoos.
“During Touka Voodoo’s interview he told me he had a sex change operation to become a man and that the tattooing on his face, which he did in the mirror himself, represented both his masculinity and femininity”, says Mark.
For more photos check Mark’s website (http://www.mdleaver.com/tattoos#12).