Evolution of a subculture: CURED Tour/Uvatiarru

Pict0023-out copy
In 2003, a small crew sponsored by BMEZine founder Shannon Larratt started a North American tour to film Body Modification enthusiasts/practices for what promised to be a very unique documentary.

Shannon sent out DVC cameras to people not on the tour’s path who he felt could contribute something unique, equipped Jon Cobb with a camera for a tour of South East Asia and even managed to make a website and trailer for the film- Uvatiarru– that ultimately never got produced.

This image is from the first stop of the US Tour on 04 May 2003. While the tour allowed for the crew to go to the homes/studios of the people they were filming, some folks stepped it up and hosted parties and events when the tour came through their town.


IAM.BME community members Lauren and Sam organized a suspension event in NYC for the first stop of the tour, which found CURED member (and ModCon/SCARwars photographer) Philip Barbosa suspending with an assist from ROP’s Emrys Yetz. A Cured crew member- Johnny- films in the background.

I’ve been told that these tapes still exist; they’re just waiting to be put together and celebrate a time/place that was very influential in the development of the Body Modification community worldwide.

Shawn Porter has spent the majority of his life in the modification world. As a body modification archivist and documentarian, he has one of the most extensive collections of documents relating to the early American body modification community outside of academia. He edited the SPC website from 1995 to 2005, co-founded ModCon, was the host of ModCons 3.5 and 4, and created and hosted The Scarwars Project from 2004-2007. In 2011 Shawn launched Occult Vibrations, a blog devoted to traditional American tattoos with a focus on the occult and esoteric. He currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife Julia and their creepy pets Mr. Bailey Papers and L. RonBenet Ramsey.


  1. I remember Shannon talking all enthusiastically about this project when I first discovered BME in 2005. Sad to see it’s probably never going to see the light.
    And there has to be material – there’s a trailer (of sorts) on youtube that was not uploaded by Shannon.Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsbNM59iGyw
    BTW, Shawn – isn’t the name of it “Uvatiarru”?

  2. 🙂 Yeah, that’s a perfectly acceptable reason! I ‘m actually a bit surprised nobody seems to have noticed before.

  3. Here’s what Shannon wrote back to me in Sept. 2012 when I inquired about the status of the project:

    « I have hundreds of hours of unedited footage. Besides hacking together some promo trailers, I didn’t make a lot of progress beyond collecting the footage.

    The folks that did Modify have been throwing together a followup built around BME and it’s history. If this happens, I’ll let them use the footage…
    Otherwise, who knows, maybe Badur will tackle it (he shot about half the footage and I trust him). I won’t have time before I die, but I’d love to see it happen… That community in the late 90s/early 00s was so wonderful. »

    Fingers crossed.

    1. He had told me about the proposed “bme documentary” while asking me to ‘proof read’ some of his memories from that time. Nothing ever came of it, and the tapes may have been damaged, so… there’s that.

      1. Sad. Adding to that the fact that Badur does not seem to have said footage, and that Lassi does not even have a copy of the rushes for the trailer that’s been linked above, it’s not going to be a piece of cake to retrieve these precious bits. Have you managed to collect the remaining trailers, Shawn?

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