Film screening & discussion with internationally acclaimed artist, eL Seed.

Friday, April 19, 2024

7 PM at Alif Institute

3288 Marjan Drive, Atlanta GA 30340

Free & open to the public.

In his project Perception, eL Seed is questioning the level of judgment and misconception society can unconsciously have upon a community based on their differences.

In the neighborhood of Manshiyat Nasr in Cairo, the Coptic community of Zaraeeb collects the trash of the city for decades and developed the most efficient and highly profitable recycling system on a global level. Still, the place is perceived as dirty, marginalized and segregated.

To bring light on this community, with his team and the help of the local community, he created an anamorphic piece that covers almost 50 buildings only visible from a certain point of the Moqattam Mountain. The piece of art uses the words of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, a Coptic Bishop from the 3rd century,  that said: ‘Anyone who wants to see the sunlight clearly needs to wipe his eye first.’

The Zaraeeb community welcomed eL Seed and his team as they were family. It was one of the most amazing human experiences he has ever had. They are generous, honest and strong people. They have been given the name of Zabaleen (the garbage people), but this is not how they call themselves. They don’t live in the garbage but from the garbage; and not their garbage, but the garbage of the whole city. They are the ones who clean the city of Cairo.
About eL Seed:
Through the tool of graffiti art and Arabic calligraphy, eL Seed is spreading the message of peace and unity. Different parts of the world and a variety of communities are brought to the forefront with the power of art, all whilst breaking down perceptions we may have of each other. By sharing and making his visuals for and with communities, the meaning of art takes on a significant emphasis showcasing perspectives and readdressing stereotypes. eL Seed’s art builds bridges, it is one of unification with a quest to expose the common traits humanity has with each other. In 2017, eL Seed won the UNESCO Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture and was named in 2016 a Global Thinker by Foreign Policy for his project ‘Perception’ in Cairo. His art has been on display in exhibitions and in public places such as on the façade of L’Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, at LAZinc art gallery in London, in the favelas of Rio di Janeiro, on the DMZ in between North and South Korea and in the heart of Cairo’s garbage collectors neighbourhood amongst many other places. The evolution of the history of graffiti art and its growing popularity whether in what we term as the “West” or “East”, means public spaces reflecting societal messages through art can be reached by many more people. Democratising art is an important factor for eL Seed, he never signs his work, creating them for the people of the area he paints in.

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