The individuals that comprise the collective ‘tribe’ of Berliners that express themselves through body modification are as varied, and in certain instances, and radical as the methods and forms of modifications observed. Though, looking beyond the eclectic aesthetic of the tribe has uncovered a common thread that binds one another; personal validation through group acceptance. Whether this tribe member expresses him or herself with a specific mark of a throat tattoo or an artificially sun-kissed tan they are self-branding themselves as an individual, which in turn grants them access to and recognition in the all encompassing tribe of individuals.
In the instance of our group’s research it has become apparent that some form of body modification or individuality has been needed to associate and interact with the tribe, as most members have proven very protective to disclose their own thoughts and motives. Through our experiments of cultural immersion, where we have taken on our own modifications, we have obtained ‘access’ to and gained trust of people that had been previously unapproachable. Where does brand incorporation fit into this? Much like an initiation to the tribe, the introduction to a brand must be a very delicate and organic process that is to first infiltrate the subculture and fortify the notion of self-progression, while simultaneously strengthening the greater collective.
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