Youssef Rakha

Koss Ommak (2011-2023)

About this work

Against a bright red background (a fire box, actually) are two words, in Arabic, formed of digital flowers traced by the fingertip on the screen. They read, literally: ‘your mother’ and ‘cunt’; together, ‘your mother’s cunt’, the most obscene but also the most common insult in Egyptian Arabic. Beyond its ugly, patriarchal overtones, perhaps the expression can be redeemed. Redeemed as both a protest against bullshit—how it was used during the 2011 revolution, when this image was made—and as a reference to beauty: the beauty of origins.

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