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Tribal Markings on Kickstarter!

clock October 31, 2010 22:35 by author Amber

As of this evening the Kickstarter.com project to support Tribal Markings is now live! I must now find my center and focus on that for a few moments. Then I can panic more efficiently. See how that works?

How can you support Tribal Markings? Go to http://kickstarter.com/projects/StoppedMotion/tribal-markings and sign up as a backer with rewards ranging from "our unending love and gratitude", a copy of the finished book, prints, and even acknowledgment on the printed page. There is a good deal of money to raise for this project and a limited amount of time to do it.


Why this project?
Tribal Markings is a photo project and book, show casing belly dancers and their backgrounds while exploring the relationship they have with their tattoos. I want to meet with at least 100 or more belly dancers from across the country, from all walks of life and dance styles, to find the commonalities of experience and the unique perspectives that each provides. The end result will be a book filled with the wild beauty and touching stories from the women of the dance.

Belly dancers decorate their bodies not only with costumes and jewelry, but also with ink. Each adornment is a piece of history; a story to be told and a gem of art.

"She created the fan so I was always kind of hidden behind it and it became a protection for me. With that, it allowed for me to go ahead wear a belly dance costume that exposed the area that was, in my mind, the least pleasant to be seen." -- Nancy "Icy" Brown

Each belly dancer is interviewed and engaged in the conversation of their tattoos and the journey they are on. Questions asked and stories told become quotations in the margins. Anecdotes get fleshed out.

Why $15,000 and how will the money be used?
When I posted a call for dancers for this project to a local Yahoo! Group for the belly dancing community, something I didn't expect to happen occurred. The e-mail was forwarded to people outside of the Puget Sound and there was interest. I posted the call to a couple other forums to see what the response would be. The response was incredible. The project resonated for belly dancers with backgrounds in tribal, cabaret, folkloric, and more from one end of the continent to the other. Travelling to these cities and renting space for taking the photographs will cost from $600 to almost $1000 with air fare being the biggest cost. Money will also be used to for production and design costs around the book and other costs around the shoots themselves.

Why back Tribal Markings?

  • You want to learn about these very real people and connect with them.
  • You want to see pretty pictures of beautiful works of art on amazing people.
  • Be a part of the project from the ground up.
  • You want to receive cool rewards.
  • Because strong women should be showcased more often than they are.



Markings: Morrigan Aria

clock October 29, 2010 17:59 by author Amber

Morrigan Aria used to dance with her mother when she was 8 years and then took a break from it for twenty or more years that, in her words, she'll admit to. Only recently did she get back into belly dancing after conversation between her son and his friends about an industrial music video. "His friends had commented on how good the professional dancers were on the stage. My son pointed out to them that his mother could do better than that. So he tells me about this, very proud of himself, and I tell him to let me see the video. It is exactly how I've been dancing the last twenty-some years that I'll admit to. Sort of an industrial fusion style of belly dance which lead me to get back into traditional belly dance classes." Currently she's studying cabaret style belly dance down in the south Puget Sound area and wants to explore tribal styles of a belly dance." [more]

Some dancers say that the dance influences their lives on an aesthetic level such as clothing and home furnishings. With some dancers, belly dance also influences the choice in tattoos, but not always.

"I would say that the dance has been influenced by the tattoos to a degree. Many of my tattoos are tribal related but not in the currently used vernacular. My genealogy is very old and the majority of my tattoos reflect that genealogy; being proud of where you came from. Part of my heritage is also Magyar Gyspy, from Hungary, and I haven't done any artwork yet to honor that. But I believe that honoring who you came from and honoring those ancient tribal rituals ties you into today's community better."


As a child, Morrigan had been to see the standing stones at Stonehenge in the English county of Wiltshire. "When I was in the army we had been getting ready to go to Iraq and I always told myself I would go back to see Stonehenge. So it was a large amount of grief that I decided to get Stonehenge tattooed on me because I didn't think I'd ever get to see it again. I was going to war. I might not come back. So I got the tattoo and then I had an opportunity to go before I was deployed.

"I stood at Stonehenge with my tattoo in the bitter March cold and had my picture taken with it. Since then it's grown to reflect other parts of my Celtic history and heritage. So it just sort of ties it all in."

 



Markings: Melody of the Emerald Rain Belly Dance Company

clock October 25, 2010 22:25 by author Amber

Melody has been belly dancing for 20 years she currently has nine tattoos with more to come. Her preference of styles starts with Gypsy style belly dance, mixed with a little bit of tribal, and a lot of fusion. Melody chooses her tattoos carefully like they are an extension to her performance costume. "I think my belly dancing has influenced my tattoos. Where I get them, how big the size is, what they are, and what I'm willing to let people see," she says. I asked what kind of thought she puts into choosing a costume. "I think about my body style, where my tattoos are located, and what audience/venue I'm going to be performing at." [more]

"I was looking for something to put on my lower back and my husband did not want me to have a tattoo there because of the stigma of it being a tramp stamp and I wanted something that I didn't see on anybody else.

"I was watching a T.V. show about octopuses and how they are very misunderstood creatures. They're not big and scary and they're not stupid. They're actually quite smart and things of that nature and I thought, 'Wow. It'd be kind of cool to have an octopus back there.

"I thought about it a little while longer and went on a trip with another dance sister to do a show down in Sacramento, California. Everywhere we went we ran into tattoo artists or dancers who were related to tattoo artists. Each and every time we looked at tattoos, they kept coming up as octopuses. When I got home, I made an appointment to go and think about getting this tattoo.

"On the way to talk to Dick about my octopus tattoo, I was telling a girlfriend about everywhere in Sacramento we ran into were octopuses and tattoo artists. There at the Starbucks, where we stopped to get coffee was a big old purple octopus laying on the counter. I looked up at the universe and said, 'I get it. I'm supposed to have an octopus."

"My original tattoo has been modified. My original tattoo, on my left breast, is two musical notes representing my name. Then about five years after I got it, I augmented it with sprig of flowers. Several of my girlfriends were all getting these sprig of flowers on different body parts and in different colors. It unites us."



Markings: Nancy "Icy" Brown

clock October 24, 2010 21:39 by author Amber

Nancy "Icy" Brown is the founder and director of ucanto Belly Dance, the Western Washington Sister Studio to Fat Chance Belly Dance, and has been performing American Tribal Style belly dance for 9 years.

"I was always accused of being a belly dancer any time I was out club dancing. And I just--I didn't see it. I just did what I did. Then I went to one of my dearest [friend], in fact my tattoo artist's wedding, and who did she have there? It was Fat Chance Belly Dance and I didn't know who they were from Adam. I just knew these were different belly dancers. And that is what got me hooked back in 2001.

"Of course, when she told me belly dancers were going to be at their wedding, I was like, 'Oh, that's nice.' And then when these women walked in in tassels, turbans, skirts, and this whole different look, it was those, 'Huh? What's this?' That intrigued me from day one."

"For me, the very first significant sized tattoo was actually a scar cover up because I am very self-conscious about my tummy. I was also, at one point, 210 pounds and I'm four-eleven. That makes for a large size, very round girl. So I was very, very self-conscious. And Gypsy Jill, my tattoo artist—who passed away about a year ago--she saw part of me and a redirection of focus when she created the fan. That allowed me, because of my modesty, she created the fan so I was always kind of hidden behind it and it became a protection for me. With that, it allowed for me to go ahead wear a belly dance costume that exposed the area that was, in my mind, the least pleasant to be seen." [more]



Over the Edge: After the Moon

clock October 18, 2010 16:05 by author Amber

Copyright 2010, Stopped Motion Photography

For the story "Love's Long Embrace" by Johnathan McKinney for the Edge of Propinquity.
Model: Julie Norton



Over the Edge: Sleeping Dragons

clock October 18, 2010 15:56 by author Amber

Copyright 2010, Stopped Motion Photography

For the guest story "Black Dragon" by Patty Jansen for the Edge of Propinquity.



Over the Edge: Not Far From the Tree

clock October 18, 2010 15:44 by author Amber

Copyright 2010, Stopped Motion Photography

For the Sparrow Hill Road story "Bad Moon Rising" by Seanan McGuire for the Edge of Propinquity.
Model: Sarah Bennett



Tribal Markings

clock October 6, 2010 20:16 by author Amber

Tribal Markings Image, Copyright 2010-2011, Stopped Motion PhotographyTribal Markings is a photo project and book, show casing belly dancers and their backgrounds while exploring the relationship the dancers have with their tattoos. I want to meet with at 50 or more belly dancers from across the country and from all walks of life and dance styles, to find the commonalities of experience and the unique perspectives each provides. The end result is a book filled with the wild beauty and touching stories from the women of the dance.

Belly dancers decorate their bodies not only with costumes and jewelry, but also with ink. Each adornment is the piece of history; a story to be told and a gem of art.

Each belly dancer is interviewed and engaged in the conversation of their tattoos and the journey they are on. Questions asked and stories told become quotations in the margins. Anecdotes get fleshed out. As a thank you, every belly dancer who are interviewed and photographed will receive digital copies of their photos, either on a Photo Disc or in the form of a digital download.

If you are a dancer and you would like to be a part of this project, we ask that you fill out the dancer questionnaire.

See all items about Tribal Markings.

Here are the belly dancers who have contributed to the project so far:

Hands of Kali (coming soon!)
Jessica Sokol
Lady Dragonwing (coming soon!)
Melody Anderson
Morrigan Aria
Nancy "Icy" Brown
Tayissa Blue



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