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eL Seed: Can The Beauty Of Arabic Calligraphy Shift Perspectives?

eL Seed: Can The Beauty Of Arabic Calligraphy Shift Perspectives?

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode How Art Changes Us.

About eL Seed’s TED Talk

Using Arabic calligraphy, eL Seed paints messages of hope on the sides of buildings. He says the beauty of Arabic script — even if you can’t read it — can change negative perceptions of Arab culture.

About eL Seed

French-Tunisian artist eL Seed blends the historic art of Arabic calligraphy with graffti to portray messages of beauty, poetry and peace around the world. His goal is to create dialogue and promote tolerance as well as change global perceptions of Arabic culture.

In 2016, 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. Other examples of his work can be found in his book, Lost Walls: A Caligraffiti Journey through Tunisia.

Using Arabic calligraphy, eL Seed paints messages of hope on the sides of buildings. He says the beauty of Arabic script — even if you can’t read it — can change negative perceptions of Arab culture.

eL Seed

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.”

What others say

“A street artist born in Paris to Tunisian parents, eL Seed did not learn to read or write Arabic until his late teens, but when he did his renewed interest in his heritage had a profound effect on his art.” — BBC

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.