Remembering through ink

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By Gabe Sturges

Tattooing is one of the world’s most ancient art forms, created to reinforce cultural identity and prized for their beauty. Here at Union College, Graham Ignizio, professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, proudly lent his body as a canvas to a most permanent of art forms.

Formerly rooted in the same mindset as many others, Professor Ignizio never had intentions of getting a tattoo, afraid that he would merely continue the fad. However, he now says that “tattoos can be important when they mean something,” none more so when they commemorate the loss of a sibling.

In November 2009, Ignizio traveled to New York City, one of the country’s hotspots for tattooing, to finalize the process.  Tattooed by a visiting artist from Italy, Ignizio chose to place the tattoo on the inside of his left forearm—the side of the body closest to the heart. The script was also applied so its message reads from left to right. He explains: “the tattoo is meant for me, not others.”

The whole process was therapeutic in nature, helping  Ignizio to mentally prepare to discuss his brother’s death, as he knew the tattoo would be a topic of conversation. It is a constant reminder of the brother he knew and still loves.

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