Like a thread, the line weaves along the bodies, elegantly conjuring illustrations of memories and moments. This is The World Piece. A collaboration between people around the globe, Momondo created this adventure to open our world up, sparking meaningful togetherness and emphasizing personal connections as elemental to the health of humankind.
With the help of Tattoodo and Smuggler, 61 people joined in on a wonderful social experiment that, for some, would answer the question, “How far would you go to bring the world together?”
The event was multifold in meaning. Exploring culture, societal standards, body positivity, and much more, Momondo wanted to bring people together in an experiential event in hopes of proving that connecting with one another is crucial to the well being of all. “In 2019, our global Value of Traveling study found that 49% believe people are less tolerant toward other cultures than five years ago. Yet the majority also believe that it’s up to the people to increase tolerance and respect and that we need to stand closer together to solve the challenges of the future.” With this information in mind, Momondo put The World Piece project into motion.
With the help of Tattoodo and Smuggler a call for participants was announced. The goal was to have the most diverse applicants possible; while occupations and educational background was not taken into consideration, those finally chosen “represent 70.3% of the world’s population.” Their stories are personal, but relatable. Each voice ringing true; a reminder that we are never truly alone and that our experiences, no matter how great or small, unite us.
Gracefully moving from one person to another, the soft fine illustrative line connects each person in a beautiful loop. Depictions of faces, far off places, hands, flowers, rolling waves...poignant images each a meditation on the moments of our lives. “The tattoo artist who designed the tattoos for The World Piece is Mo Ganji, creator of the single-line tattoo. His minimalist style matched the idea of symbolically “connecting” people together from all over the world. Mo designed all 61 tattoos exclusively for The World Piece, and he was also present during filming. Mo created his tattoo designs to represent common human experiences or beliefs. The designs and the individual people’s stories were matched up based on how well the tattoo reflected the story.”
Tattoodo then matched each person to be tattooed with an artist in their area to apply the work of art to their skin. After being tattooed, the 61 finally visited London culminating in the documentary film directed by Joshua Neale and moderated by Samantha Clarke. “Joshua and creative agency &Co then edited the footage into the final The World Piece film. Each participant also had portrait and tattoo photos taken by Danish photographer Søren Solkær while in London.”
What could easily be missed here is the courage of the participants, and their willingness to be so open minded for the project. They are embodiments of the sort of supportive and inclusive spirit that could help embolden people across nations to come together in solidarity. Shannon, one of the 61, explains, “The choice of each of the sixty of us to show up, to take the risk of standing nearly naked before each other, to lean shoulder to shoulder as we listened to one another has yielded to tangible, palpable empowerment. What began for each of us as simply an experience we would like to have for ourselves, has proven to be the creation of a worldwide family by choice whose stories and lives are irrevocably interwoven.”
The World Piece project is partly an exercise in education: how to cultivate tolerance and empathy for others. Participant Franziska, says of the event, ““I’ve found a new strength and I feel confirmed in my belief in self-responsibility; always trying to be the best version of myself and living my beliefs. No matter which color, belief, age, sexual orientation or whatever we are, we all are humans — born naked and without prejudice. The world is small and life is short. Hate has no place in it.” Without opening yourself up and experiencing new cultures, as well as the lives of others, we stay stagnant. Ideas, inspiration, sympathy, love...this and so much more comes from our interactions with a diverse and varied group of people. Travel widens our scope of reality; it breaks us free from boundaries and shows us not only the natural beauty of our planet, but the incredible people that are on it.
Linking what were previously strangers, many of the participants came away from the experience feeling as though they had inherited not just a tattoo but 60 new family members. Momondo has shown the transformative power of tattoos, but also the integral importance of travel as a means for understanding and connecting with our fellow man because, truly, that is the stuff that life is made of.