XVI X Edenvale


XVI X stands for 16 10, the postal code of Edenvale and this is what prompted my project. On my 21st birthday my boss at the tattoo parlor said I should get a tattoo. Living in Edenvale himself, he had XVI X tattooed on his ankle; I had seen the same tattoo before, on many people also from Edenvale. For me the decision to get this etched beneath my skin for the rest of my existence didn’t require any thought. I wanted it but I couldn’t explain why. It’s like when you buy that cheap crappy toy gun from the toy store – you wanted anyway, so you got it. This tattoo was exactly that. I wanted it and I got it. No second thoughts.


Then I started to question this. Why the hell would anyone want to tattoo this on themselves? Like it doesn’t make sense. But to us, it does. This number is everywhere, its graffitied all over our streets, in our skatepark, in our clubs, tattooed on the side of a flying toaster on my mate’s leg and even on an iron-fist t-shirt, alongside a knuckleduster, batten and the word “Brotherhood”. I don’t really like this word; I think ‘brotherhood’ sounds too much like a gang, although it’s probably the best way to describe it, in some ways.


An on going project.

© Paul Samuels Photography / paul@paulsamuels.co.za

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