Heidi Minx's Tattoos of Tibetan Refugees Videos
12:50 PM

Activist, writer, designer and all around tattoo phenom Heidi Minx has spent tireless years working for social justice. She founded the non-profit Built on Respect, which is "dedicated to raising human rights awareness through journalism and hands on action." One of the organization's projects is the creation of a video series that tells the stories behind the tattoos of ex-political prisoners in the exile community in Dharamsala.

The series, "Tattoos and Human Rights Awareness," includes videos like the one above of Palden Gyatso, who was tattooed as a young monk in Central Tibet. [His tattoos were later removed by Chinese prison guards during the revolution.]

Heidi further discusses the project on Care2:

In the three years that I have been coming to the Tibetan community of Dharamsala in India, I've been quietly observing the tattoos of the people here.

In many cases, these tattoos mark the skin of former political prisoners. In other cases, they amplify the desires of those Tibetans born in exile to return to their homeland.

Tattoos themselves draw a very mixed reaction: fond admirers or staunch critics, geography, generation, and religion all play a role. Regardless of these factors, tattoos are like the proverbial picture which is worth a thousand words.

Read more from Heidi on her Care2 blog, her column for The Huffington Post, and her Inked for a Cause blog.

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