Street Art with a Message of Hope and Peace

Born in France to Tunisian parents, eL Seed delights in juggling multiple cultures, languages and identities. Not least in his artwork, which sets Arabic poetry in a style inspired by street art and graffiti. In this quietly passionate talk, the artist and TED Fellow describes his central ambition: to create art so beautiful it needs no translation.

eL Seed is a TED Fellow and a "calligraffiti" artist who blends Arabic calligraphy with the modern art of graffiti. He has painted artworks on buildings around the world, never minding that sometimes it's hard to interpret the actual text. "Even Arabic speaking people need to focus to decipher it!" he says proudly. Literal translation is beside the point.

Perhaps his most iconic project to date was a 2012 message of unity he painted on a 47-meter-high minaret on the Jara mosque in Gabes, Tunisia. But eL Seed has also painted on tunnels, roofs, towers and other structures around the world. No building too small, his purpose is always to communicate his belief in hope, peace, and the power of art to a broad audience comprising anyone who passes by.

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