Watch as former gang members’ tattoos are removed

In today’s society the vast majority of the general public are quick to judge people with tattoos. Whether it’s anything from avoiding sitting next to someone on public transport, to declining someone from obtaining a particular career.

Individuals with tattoos who have never committed crimes are still to this day deemed as “thugs”, which then makes it almost impossible for the people who have spent time in jail who are constantly striving to leave their life of crime in the past.

To a certain extent it could be understandable for someone to feel threatened by a person covered in gang tattoos, but still, that shouldn’t matter.

Samuel Gonzalez

“I regret getting tattoos… I don’t want to be the same old person no more.”

Steven Burton, a British photographer has created a collection of images in which he has removed former gang members’ tattoos. The reason behind this hard hitting work is to encourage today’s society to see past the ink.

Steven stated “I started this project to understand the effects tattoos have on people escaping the gangs, how they are judged by society and ultimately how they judge themselves.”

Vinson Ramos
Vinson Ramos

“Most of the homeboys and girls hadn’t seen themselves without tattoos for decades. There was a deep emotional response by the subjects.”

The powerful digital project features 27 people who have shared their experiences, which are showcased in a collection of videos.

The British photographer hopes to gain enough funds so the experiences of these 27 individuals can be shared to an even larger number of people across the world.

digital mockup final may differ

If you’re interested in supporting the project yourself, you can make a donation by heading over to Steven’s Kickstarter campaign.