Tattooing seems to be back in vogue today among millennial Filipinos, but how did we get there? How do tattoos link us to our tribal past, and how do they connect us to the world at large?

These questions, among others, will be the focus of a lively discussion on “Tapping Ink: Tattooing Identities” at the first University of the Philippines Interdisciplinary Book Forum sponsored by the UP Instutute of Creative Writing and the UP Press, to be held at Balay Kalinaw, UP Diliman ,on September 30, from 2 to 5 in the afternoon.

The forum will draw on the 2013 book Tapping Ink, Tattooing Identities: Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Kalinga Society, Northern Luzon, Philippines by Analyn Salvador-Amores. The book explores tattooing practices in Kalinga and the rich history of meaning-making among the tattoo artists in the region. It examines tattooing against the backdrop of tradition and modernity, and how it has been affected by mobility, the diaspora, technology, and globalization.

The book’s discussants will include Dr. Maria F. Mangahas of the Department of Anthropology, Dr. Rolando B. Tolentino of College of Mass Communication, and Prof. Clod Winter Sun Yambao of the College of Arts and Letters. Dr. J. Neil C. Garcia, UP Press Director, will moderate the panel.

The Interdisciplinary Book Forum is part of UP’s Emerging Interdisciplinary Research (EIDR) program, which aims to promote dialogue and critical thinking across disciplines within and beyond the university. It will be held twice a year under the auspices of the UPICW and the UP Press. Both literary and non-literary books published by the UP Press will be chosen as springboards for wider discussion of cultural, social, political, and economic issues raised by the selections, and discussants will be drawn from diverse fields.

UPICW Director Dr. Jose Y. Dalisay hopes that the Interdisciplinary Book Forum will have “a direct impact on the way the university teaches and promotes Philippine literature and literacy, particularly in terms of bilingualism and cultural diversity and inclusivity.”

Admission to the IBF is free. Those interested in attending are advised to come early.