Lip sewing

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Lip sewing or mouth sewing, the operation of stitching together human lips, is a form of body modification. It may be carried out for aesthetic or religious reasons; as a play piercing practice; or as a form of protest.

Sutures are often used to stitch the lips together, though sometimes piercings are made with needle blades or cannulas and monofilament is threaded through the holes. There is usually a fair amount of swelling, but permanent scarring is rare.[1]

Body modification culture[edit]

Lip sewing may be done for aesthetic reasons, or to aid meditation by helping the mind to focus by removing the temptation to speak.[1]

BMEzine, an online magazine for body modification culture, published an article about a 23-year-old film student Inza, whose quest for body modifications was very varied. She spoke about her experiences with lip sewing as a form of play piercing.[2]

Lip sewing as protest[edit]

  • On January 19, 2002, nearly 60 detainees in Australia's biggest camp for asylum seekers sewed their lips together in protest over delays in processing their visa applications.[3]
  • On July 3, 2006, 65 inmates in the Belgrade Central Prison sewed their mouths shut in protest of slow court procedures and poor living conditions.[4] Earlier, in April, an inmate sewed his lips and tongue shut in order to avoid court hearing for a bank heist.[5]
  • On June 4, 2012, two asylum seekers sewed their lips together in protest against the Bavarian and German asylum policies.[6]
  • During the 2014 Venezuelan protests, a small group of students in Venezuela sewed their mouths shut in protest due to students being arrested for protesting and to show the Venezuelan government that their food fasting is "permanent, prolonged and serious".[7]
  • In Sep 14, 2018 Femen Activists Protest in France Lip Sewing to support Russian Artist Piotr Pavlenski


  1. ^ a b Lip sewing, BME Encyclopedia
  2. ^ "Brutal Beauty: One's quest for altered states", BME Modblog, 30 May 2005
  3. ^ Asylum seekers sew lips together, The Guardian, 19 January 2002
  4. ^ "Lončarević: Central Prison security satisfactory".
  5. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Asylbewerber nähen sich die Lippen zu", Suddeutsche Zeitung, 4 June 2012
  7. ^ "Jóvenes se cosen la boca en protesta por el silencio de la justicia". El Universal. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014.

External links[edit]