Sunday, March 25, 2007

Liberating my cross

In January of 2005 I took a picture of my friends Paul's Coptic Orthodox Tattoo. I subsequently posted it on my blog,along with a short blog post describing how Paul had acquired the tattoo. The post generates a 25 hits or so each month, but no comment traffic. I had forgotten about the photo until my friend plopped a copy of the March/April edition of the Coptic Herald in front of me at work the other day. He related a story of opening the magazine and looking at what appeared to be his own tattooed wrist being used to illustrate a story about Coptic Youth and the Culture of Apathy. Paul did not remember how the picture was made, it freaked him out a little. The photo had been casual thing,taken in jest and out of curiosity. Why would he remember?

A few nights later, Paul woke himself up with the memory of our brief photo shoot - Joe did this! (a refrain I hear often) He told his priest that the photo was of his arm. I don't think his priest believed him. A few days later he showed it to me.

I took a closer look at the picture, it was my photo. The skin tone had been warmed and the photo cropped, but the parts that showed were a 100% match. The picture was credited to the Encyclopedia of the Orient. I found the photo by using the search words "Coptic tattoo" and by changing the search type to "match all words". I found the photograph was uncredited and was therefor in violation my creative commons license. I wrote an email to the editor asking for the proper attribution. He complied. I was happy and the mystery solved. It is however, a very small world.

*** Update ***

I just found it used at The Poor Blogger. I'll ping him for credit and see what he does.


The Poor Blogger said...

Hi. I don't know what "pinging" is, but I saw a link leading back to your blog. Anyway, I referenced it in mine. I hope that is acceptable. If you would prefer me to remove the picture, please let me know.


Mojoey said...

no worries. A link back is just fine with me.

Anonymous said...

We are travelling in Egypt and our guide has the same tattoo on his left arm. He is a Coptic Christian, and wears this tattoo as a sign of his faith. It is indeed a bold statement here.

Thanks for posting the picture. I'd love to know if its acceptable for non-Coptic Christians to wear this tattoo.