SIGN FOR BRITISH LAND

In 1882 a British force of 35,000 men under Lieutenant-General Sir Garnet Wolseley invaded Egypt after defeating the Egyptian army at Tal El Kebir. Although never a colony, British troops remained in the country until Egypt earned its independence, and in 1954 the Republic of Egypt was declared. During WWII Egyptian soldiers were taken to fight under British command. At the same time, 23 million landmines were planted in the Egyptian Western Desert to stop the German invasion of North Africa. The Devil’s Garden is the name of the biggest minefield in the country with 17.5 million mines still lying under the ground.

In 2002 Basim Magdy set foot on British grounds for the first time. He erected a sign in a beautiful green field overlooking a small English garden. The sign read:

NO INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATED HERE YET

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  • Sign for British Land, 2002, acrylic and spray paint on wooden sign, 220 x 360 x 25 cm. Installation view Braziers Park, Ipsden, UK.

  • Sign for British Land, 2002, acrylic and spray paint on wooden sign, 220 x 360 x 25 cm. Installation view Braziers Park, Ipsden, UK.

  • Sign for British Land, 2002, acrylic and spray paint on wooden sign, 220 x 360 x 25 cm. Installation view Braziers Park, Ipsden, UK.

  • Sign for British Land, 2002, acrylic and spray paint on wooden sign, 220 x 360 x 25 cm. Installation view Braziers Park, Ipsden, UK.