Getting Inked for the Resistance


Polar bear tattoo for Modern Electric Studio’s NRDC fundraiser

Regina Larre (@rex_ttt)

Berkeley, California, might just be the only place on the planet where you could spot lagoon-loving vaquita porpoises, Arctic polar bears, delicate inflorescences of Texas wild rice, and honeybees all at once—in tattoo form, at least.

Since the presidential election, Modern Electric Studio has been holding monthly fund-raisers to benefit organizations that support causes threatened by the Trump administration. On these Flash Fridays, artists create a selection of tattoo designs thematically related to the organization’s work for $100 to $200 a pop. Offering up skin-and-ink versions of endangered wildlife, their March event raised about $2,400 for NRDC.

So far the studio has selected each month’s donee in direct response to Trump and co.’s most recent actions—and there’s been no shortage of causes to choose from.


Flash sheets for NRDC fundraiser by Regina Larre (left) and Sophia Blum (right)

The first event, on November 11, benefited Planned Parenthood after it became clear that Mike Pence would soon bring his dismal record on reproductive rights to the vice presidency. When the Army Corps of Engineers sent an eviction notice to the Standing Rock Sioux, Modern Electric raised funds for the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council, which coordinates medical care for those protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. An American Civil Liberties Union benefit followed on the heels of the administration’s Muslim ban. Most recently, NRDC’s turn came as Scott Pruitt began stacking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with climate deniers and plotting crippling blows to the agency’s budget.

In a “manifesto” published on Facebook, the studio writes: “Tattooing has given our family a unique weapon with which to push back. By using our…

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