eL Seed: Street art with a message of hope and peace
eL Seed - Artist
French-Tunisian artist eL Seed blends the historic art of Arabic calligraphy with graffti to portray messages of beauty, poetry and peace across all continents. Full bio
the minaret of Jara Mosque
in the south of Tunisia,
so much attention to a city.
for a wall in my hometown,
was built in '94.
of concrete stayed grey.
and I told him what I wanted to do,
he was waiting for somebody
is that he didn't ask me anything --
or what I was going to write.
I write messages
a mix of calligraphy and graffiti.
the most relevant message
should come from the Quran,
from a male and a female,
so you may know each other."
tolerance, and acceptance
portray in a good way in the media.
community reacted to the painting,
the minaret getting so much attention
all around the world.
just the painting;
a monument for the city,
to this forgotten place of Tunisia.
of Tunisia at this time,
Quran in a graffiti way
the essence of my artwork.
even Arabic-speaking people
to decipher what I'm writing.
the meaning to feel the piece.
your soul before it reaches your eyes.
that you don't need to translate.
where I'm painting,
a universal dimension,
can connect to it.
and read Arabic when I was 18.
this is so important to me,
I've experienced all around the world.
this Portuguese poem
to the poor people of the favela,
intrigued by what I was doing,
the meaning of the calligraphy,
connected to the piece.
concrete wall of the slum.
impossible until it's done."
"Man, why you don't write in English?"
your concern legit if you asked me
and he asked for the wall to be erased.
of the event asked me to come back,
right in front of this guy's house.
to write, "[In Arabic],"
and I wrote, "[In Arabic],"
of it through my artwork.
the stereotypes we all know,
of the message anymore on the wall.
of the calligraphy to be broken,
without knowing the meaning,
from other countries.
as a rejection or a closed door,
to my culture, and to my art.
About the speaker:eL Seed - Artist
French-Tunisian artist eL Seed blends the historic art of Arabic calligraphy with graffti to portray messages of beauty, poetry and peace across all continents.
Why you should listen
Born in Paris to Tunisian parents, eL Seed travels the world, making art in Paris, New York, Jeddah, Melbourne, Gabes, Doha and beyond. His goal: to create dialogue and promote tolerance as well as change global perceptions of what Arabic means. In 2012, for instance, he painted a message of unity on a 47-meter-high minaret on the Jara mosque in Gabes, Tunisia. This piece and others can be found in his book, Lost Walls: Graffiti Road Trip through Tunisia
Most recently he created a sprawling mural in the Manshiyat Naser neighborhood of Cairo that spans 50 buildings and can only be viewed from a local mountaintop. Intending to honor the historic garbage collectors of the Manshiyat Naser neighborhood, the piece reads, "Anyone who wants to see the sunlight clearly needs to wipe his eye first."
eL Seed | Speaker | TED.com