The neighbourhood of Manshyet Nasser in Egypt’s capital Cairo, is infamous for its heaps of trash. But one artist is painting a different picture of the the area one stroke at a time.
El Seed is of French and Tunisian descent and creates graffiti artwork to challenge the misconceptions that the society has about residents of the neighbourhood.
His works which are mainly done in Arabic calligraphy, cover more than 50 buildings in the impoverished area that is commonly known as “Garbage City.”
“When you have a perspective and you don’t know and you don’t have any information you’ve heard something, but haven’t talked to people there, or you were told but didn’t see for yourself, you might have the wrong perspective,” he said.
One of his famous works is called “Perception,” which took three weeks complete, with the help of a large group of artists from Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and France.
El Seed whose artistic expression blends Arabic calligraphy with graffiti creating a modern art style, Calligraffiti, has created works in several parts of the world; among the most prominent is the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris.
He has also carried out many other calligraphy projects in Tunisia, the most famous of which is a painted Quranic verse on the minaret of a mosque in his hometown city of Gabeis.
Graffiti art flourished in Egypt during the popular Arab spring revolution of 2011 and became an alternative media channel, documenting different political events that took place and paying homage to activists who died during the revolution.
But authorities continue to suppress artists and have erased much of the street art as part of a crackdown on opposition.