PsychNology Journal, Volume 11, Number 1, 21 – 42

The Body Hacktivism Movement: A Talk About the Body

Barbara Nascimento Duarte
Federal University of Juiz de Fora & University of Strasbourg, Brazil/France


This paper talks about the body in a movement of extreme body modification called Body Hacktivism. The aspiration of this movement is to unite hacking, body modification and activism. The Body Hacktivism is a current whose enthusiasts are found in different places in Europe, the United States, and South-America, and are connected through a network. Alongside the fieldwork, it is noticeable that many times the body hacktivists’ accounts do not converge into a single version of what the movement is. Beyond that, their accounts about the body vary consistently, interfering directly in their body-related practices. The interviews presented partially here are the fruit of ethnographic research with body hacktivists from Europe and Brazil. In their speech about Body Hacktivism and the body this paper will try to shed light on the way they manage the complexity of their speech associated with body transformation, by paying more attention to the details of social life. Diverse questions can be raised regarding the appropriateness of various body enactments in the actors’ speeches. Starting from the assumption that “nature/body” and “culture/modification” are not two completely distinct domains, this research is built by incorporating the issues of the ontological border set between these two concepts. By trying to trace interactions involved in this wide phenomenon, I expect to have unique insights into how ideas such as nature, culture, body modification, and technology are intertwined regarding Body Hacktivism in contemporary society.

KEYWORDS: Body modification, Body Hacktivism, Technology, Activism, Hacking, Nature, Culture.

Nascimento Duarte B. (2013). The Body Hacktivism Movement: A Talk About the Body. PsychNology Journal, 11(1), 21 - 42. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from

Download Full Text (.pdf)
Return to
PsychNology Journal Volume 11, Number 1