Books Release & exhibition

13/14.5.2022 – ICH BIN – Books Release with Bisrat Negassi

»Bisrat Negassi transforms her escape from terror into a journey toward freedom. Her story is a courageous account of making home wherever you must, using creativity, perseverance, and joy as your guides. A necessary read in this time of deep division and geopolitical strife."«

–Rebecca Walker

Bisrat Negassi in her mothers dress

»At once a timely and uncommonly tender meditation on war, migration, courage— and a modern-day guide to finding one’s path (and one’s joy) against all odds. An indispensable book.« ― Taiye Selasi

I Am is the story of the Hamburg designer Bisrat Negassi: born in the Eritrean capital of Asmara in the early 1970s, Bisrat was still a child when she experienced the brutal thirty-year war of independence against the Ethiopian military regime. Her family fled the country and after two years finally came to Germany. They had arrived – but Bisrat felt uprooted. She wondered: What does it mean to arrive? What does it mean to feel at home somewhere? Instead of feeling like she belonged, Bisrat found herself confronted with something she'd never experienced before: racism. She was angry, but decided that rage was not the answer: instead, she transformed it into creative energy, and trusted in her own courage. She studied fashion, and eventually fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a designer. After an apprenticeship with the designer Xuly Bet, she eventually set up her own fashion label Negassi in Paris.

I Am tells the inspirational story of her life, describing her long struggle, how she attained success despite countless obstacles, and how she ultimately discovered her full potential, power and creative energy.

»In this autobiography, which is well worth reading, all the big themes of our time can be found: all the gloom: war. Flight. Racism. And all the light: resilience. Growth. Family, friendship, love. And again and again: creativity.« – Melanie Raabe

Elen Tekle Negassi – Four schoolgirls, 2022

Elene Tekle Negasi, mother of four and grandmother of six children, started painting for the first time in April 2021. She made the illustrations for the book "I AM“.

13.5.2022, 8pm – Books Release with Bisrat Negassi (In german)
& exhibition with Elene Tekle Negasi
(The event is fully booked!)

14.5.2022, 7pm – Books Release with Bisrat Negassi (The event is fully booked!)

Schlüterstraße 80
20146 Hamburg

Release day May, 9 – Preorder at your local bookstore or at

The M.Bassy Program is supported by the Behörde für Kultur und Medien Hamburg.

Kulturbeoerde Hamburg