The somali pirates are attaining the status of folk heroes. Although few actually take part in the hijackings, piracy is a tribal business, with relatives facilitating negotiations, dealing with foreign currency transactions and carrying out building or other work paid for by the vast sums of money flowing into the area that has suffered the ravages of civil war for almost 17 years. Somalis collect up to $100 million a year from pirate ransoms off their coasts and the Europeans and Asians poach around $300 million a year in fish from Somali waters and dump nuclear waste on the coast.

In contrast to the silent approach and disappearance of the somali pirates although showing elaborate patience during ransom negotiations, their fashion statement is everything but silent. Popping bright colors on top are mixed with more traditionally arranged camouflaged or single colored bottoms. Distinct head-wraps of mostly heavy cotton or linen multi-colored cloths complete their standard but very modern look. Influenced by naval foot-traffic, somali pirates are bound to adapt some of the more severe and seemingly organized rather monochromatic looks of the defense battelship from Russia, the U.S., Germany and India while keeping their own twist throughout the coming season. Most importantly, a true somali pirate is never seen without a subtle battery of neatly arranged arms. Usually carried across their chests, horizontally on the belt-line or on the back at various heights, the longer slimly shaped AK-47 assault rifle, the semi-automatic pistol TT-30, hand grenades RGD-5 or F1 and various RPG-Launchers serve as the it-bang of our time. This seasons fashion week of commercial vessel and battleship runways are showing us direction of ancient modernism crossed over with sea rover type of rich hippie look. Cool, casual still in the name of street wear, yet silhouettes will become more controlled, angular and away from the body. Pirates are moving away from the basic look of single colored bright shirts towards more erratic overall patterns. Prints will be more symmetrical reminding us of Rorschach blotches. Head-wraps are growing in height and layers as they get lower in the face - sometimes just barely showing eyes. Jumpsuits will be put to the back of the closet for the coming seasons if not eliminated completely by turning them into fishing & nuclear waste.

Based on Hakim Beys „Pirate Utopias“ we engage in a epic anarchist narrative of the contemporary pirate tribes running the most enhanced and agressive operations. Pirategroups act in temporary autonomous zones with GPS, Rocket Launchers and state-of-the-art communication devices to negotiate and receive ransom money by helicopter drop, and then disappearing into the nothing of the vast and dangerous somali coastline. We are talking about a network and an artwork of connected co-operating high-style tribes, as opposed to the isolated, quarrelling groups of traditional tribal society.

I think somali pirates would serve very well as imaginary cast for a digital narrative, their motives, their personas, their technology and know how, their courage, shock to the system... all mixed with specific microcultures and complex visual languages. If the U.N. gives approval to fight pirates on land, that will only lead to death of innocent Somalis. They cannot differentiate sea rovers from ordinary Somalis, they dress alike, stylish & local, smart & rural and tribal & angry.