Tree of Life in the “City of the Dead”

27 April 2016

What do children in the “City of the Dead” dream of? What they aspire to? What they wish to achieve in life? The only way to know is to ask the children.


The Swiss artist Bettina Ammann did just this: asked the children. She then enlisted help of skilled calligraphers who transformed the children’s dreams and wishes into rings of Arabic lettering, from which a set of cutout stencils were produced by laser cutting. Bettina used these to spray on a whitewashed wall next to the maq’ad of Sultan Qaitbey a geometric pattern evoking floral motifs, which she called a “Tree of Life”, along with silhouetted miniature portraits of the children whose wishes she recorded.


The small city square in front of the maq’ad is becoming an open-air art gallery, and we plan to continue the ARCHiNOS project there with more artists.