Workshop for the ITB Tourism Festival in Berlin, Germany, 2012.

Bassem Yousri was one of 10 Egyptian Artists to decorate indivual sculptures in the shape of Ankh (Ancient Egyptian Symbol for eternity). He was inspired by the graffiti scene in Cairo as well as the streets of Berlin to paint the sculpture with words from his campaign against violence, corruption, and extremism titled Ma Tekhsarnish. The piece is now installed in public in front of Tacheles artists’ house as part of promoting Egypt at the ITB tourism Festival.

Yousri inspired the piece he did for the festival from the streets of Berlin as well as the growing street art and graffiti scene in Cairo. the piece used the sculptural form, in the shape of Ankh, as a platform to comment on the current social changes that revolutionary Egypt is going through. While today’s Egypt is in a state of rebirth, Ankh for ancient Egyptians was known to be the key to eternal life. The words carried by the sculpture are written in the traditional Arabic font, Thuluth. They are part of an ongoing awareness campaign that the artist initiated against extremism, violence, and corruption. Each word emphasizes a meaning related to personal and human rights.
The translation of the words on the sculpture is: Don’t shut me up! Don’t oppress me! Don’t reject me! Don’t ignore me! Don’t lose me! Don’t be at war with me! Don’t erase me! Don’t consider me strange! Don’t kill me! Don’t change me! Don’t consider me your enemy!