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eL-Seed – Calligraffiti in Doha

Published by on 1/05/13

French-Tunisian street-artist eL-Seed incorporates traditional Arabic calligraphy into his street art, a style he calls ‘Calligraffiti’. eL-Seed developed his style once he reached his mid-teenage years and began to rediscover his Tunisian roots in Paris.

eL-Seed has moved on from tagging his name on a wall to adopting a proverbial tradition of leaving a message in it’s place in order to unite with others, rather than distinguish himself from the rest. He perceives Arabic Calligraphy as a tangible expression of his search for identity, the combination of two supposedly clashing cultures helps to legitimise his presence on the contemporary art scene. Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish and Iraqi artist Sundus Abdul-Hadi have been cited as influences in eL-Seed’s work.

In 2013 the Qatar Museums Authority, in collaboration with The Public Works Authority commissioned him to create a series of ‘Calligraffiti’ artworks in Doha’s Salwa Road area, covering 52 large scale murals on panels through four of Salwa Road’s underground tunnels, each inspired and themed on different anecdotes from Qatari culture.

eL-Seed’s team of volunteers also deserve a mention; Essa Al Kawari, Jabr Al Kawari, Dima Masoud, Ahood Al Dafa, Assil Diab, Rana Abu Selo, and Salima Al Ismaili.
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