Bakshish for Lampedusa

Sousse/ Tunesien, 2014


In the frame of „Bye. Bye Bakchich Système“ (curated by Faten Rouissi/ 24 h pour l’art contemporain): art projects in the urban public space of Sousse/ Tunesia addressing corruption (as part of a program by the UN for Development).

"Du bakchich pour Lampedusa" received additional funding by the Federal Chancellary/ Art and Culture, Austria.

For more info see:


Jan Watzak-Helmer, Matthias Jahn (transparadiso)

supported by:
Christine Bruckbauer (Tunis); M.Faycal (Sousse), Municipality of Sousse

As part of the public art project „Bye, bye, bakshish système“ addressing the issue of corruption in Tunesia (funded by the UN for Development) „Du Bakchich pour Lampedusa“ expands this issue to the European context and the relationship between corruption withdrawing income for social services of the state, which result in continuing social inequality. Corruption is not only a supressed vital issue in Tunesia, but in Austria and the EU as well. The first anti-corruption report was published by the EU in March 2014 stating that 120 billion Euro per year are lost due to corruption. In addition the restricitive immigration policy of the walled Europe majorly contributes to the problematic of refugees risking their lives to enter Europe for a supposed better future.

For „Bakshish for Lampedusa“ a garbage container was transformed into an oversized savings box as sculpture being placed right in front of the Big Mosk in the medina in Sousse, surrounded by screens granting an intimicy similar to settings of elections.

The residents of Sousse were called for donating 10% of their irregular incomes of the last 3 years to the savings box. In an official closing ceremony the donations were handed over to the humanitarian aid organization „African Intelligence“  (founded and directed by Father Jonathan; located in Sfax, where the refugees take off to Lampedusa) which takes care of the refugees of Lampedusa.

Thus „Bakshish for Lampedusa“ is not only a symbolic gesture, but a first small step of taking public action – above all promoting communication on this discrete issue in public.