Street Artist Creates a Massive Mural in Cairo And His Story is Inspiring

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There is a massive street art painted across 50 buildings in Cairo that began circulating online since 2016. Each building has a colorful and abstract design and when formed together, you’ll see a stunning Arabic calligraphy that Tunisian-French artist eL Seed is famous for.

The world was amazed at how this artistic statement was achieved in Manshiyat Naser area of Cairo, a neglected corner of the city where garbage collectors live. Today, eL Seed is telling the story in his own words.

The project titled Perception, is the artist’s own story of how he managed to organize the self-funded project, gain the trust of the community and execute a multifaceted masterpiece while going through an emotional transformation.

The anamorphic mural, also called Perception, can only be seen as a whole from Moqattam Mountain and shines a light on a community that is often disregarded. The artist wants to show that street art is more than the competed artwork itself, it’s also a means to engage with a community and build a relationship.

“It’s been exactly two years and it feels like it was yesterday. Perception was not just an art project, it was beyond that. I thought I was leaving something to the community of Manshiyat Nasr but, they are the ones who left something in my life and the lives of each of my team members. I am happy to say that today I have a new family in Egypt. We took our time to work on a documentary that will show the real face of this community. It tells the story of this amazing human experience we lived during and after this incredible project. The movie is produced by @barjeelart and premiers in 2019,” eL Seed wrote on Instagram.

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"[…]However, first line is yet to be drawn. This is the line that requires the greatest concentration, the one that’s going to set the tone for the whole piece. The one I fear. The wall speaks to me. I’ve always said this to Ouahid. There’s a dialogue between the wall and me. I try to win it over, seduce it. It might seem crazy but I’ve forged a relationship with each wall I’ve painted. Manshiyat Nasr will be the most difficult to tame. The spirit, bestiality and aggressiveness of this neighbourhood have been hard for me to dominate. This is the first time I’m not starting my work with the first word of a phrase. A splash of black paint is thrown on the first bricks tracing the bottom of a “Lam”; the second letter of the word “Al Shams”, the sun in Arabic. I don’t know if this is a sign but I hope the light will be at the heart of this project." Extract from Perception – Book launch October 2018 #perception #zaraeeb #cairo 📸@christindim

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