El Seed Exhibits at Art Talks Gallery Cairo
As seen from the balconies of Zaraeeb ...
El Seed's most infamous piece of street art work in Cairo is a large, circular mural painted across almost 50 buildings in the Manshiyat Nasr district of the city, home to the Coptic community of Zaraeeb. The mural entitled "Perception" aims to utilise the visual beauty of artwork to uplift the harsh aesthetics of the buildings in this segregated part of town.
The mural is only fully visible form a certain perspective from the Moqattam Mountain.
The Zaraeeb community have participated for many years in some of the most effective locally organised efforts of up-cycling and recycling, on a global scale, making use of everything and anything they have and proving that marginalised communities are in fact our society's' strongest underdog.
The mural uses the words of Saint Athanasius of Alexandira, a Coptic Bishop, that state "Anyone who wants to see the light clearly, must wipe his eyes first." A powerful message, conveyed through artwork in order to shed light on this small yet very capable community of resilient people.
Essentially, the Zaraeeb use the process of recycling garbage to subsidise their lives; and so they were given the name "garbage people" or "Zabaleen" in Arabic. However, in a statement, El Seed clarifies that these are the people who clean our city, Cairo, they are a people we should be grateful for not look down upon.
A Parisien born Tunisienne artist managed to thank them for us, by bringing joy and hope to these people, through the universal and ever evolving medium that is art.
Art Talks Gallery decided to hold an exhibition on Tuesday Dec 6th, honouring this man, his work and the people who helped him, the Zaraeeb.
The artwork was striking, with it's vibrant, entrancing colours and sharp calligraphy inspired lines - a style that is referred to as calligraffiti. Howsoever, if you ask me, the most captivating part of attending this event was in fact, watching the artist interact with his admirers.
He signed everyone's catalogues, every single person who asked for a signature, got on. It was beautiful to witness such humility in a person who has achieved global recognition and fame through decorating the walls of countless cities such as Paris, New York, Tunis and Cairo with his art.
I hope you enjoy these spontaneous images, that are as a result of a night with El Seed.