Meet Elena

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“Since the age of 13, I started getting creepy attention from men. I didn’t know how to handle it. Luckily, my refuge became Punk-Hardcore subculture. It was the scene that introduced me to extreme music and radical politics. I pierced my body, wore boots and spiky jackets. I thought that it was cool and would make me look strong (while in reality I was so vulnerable). I found it beautiful… but I also knew that most of men would not find my looks attractive. Yes, I wanted to be ugly for them. 

At the age of 16 I was already an activist and proudly identified myself as a feminist. Years went by and I started tattooing my body. But this time, I approached tattoos as a ritual, documenting and celebrating my personal development. It didn’t matter anymore whether someone finds them pretty or disgusting. Tattoos serve me an inspiration. As they heal, I heal too.”

Photo by Talha Iqbal
Photo by Talha Iqbal

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