eL Seed


Born to a Tunisian family in France, eL Seed is an artist whose works incorporate traditional Arabic calligraphy, a style he calls ‘calligraffiti.’ His art was born on the streets of Paris, and now adorns walls across every continent. Incorporating elements of graffiti and Arabic calligraphy, eL Seed is known for his unique style which uses intricate composition to call not only on the words and their meaning, but also on their movement and response to a particular site and context. His art appears on the walls of many cities, from Paris, London, New York, to Doha, Jeddah, and Melbourne, in addition to his home country Tunisia.

It [Arabic calligraphy] speaks to us before it even reaches your eyes. For me it’s like music. Sometimes you hear music in a language that you don’t understand, but you love the feeling of it. You have no idea what the guy’s singing in the song, but you just love it because it speaks to your soul. – eL Seed


What does this gorgeous street art say? It’s Arabic poetry, inspired by bold graffiti and placed where a message of hope and peace can do the most good.

In this quietly passionate talk, artist and TED Fellow eL Seed describes his ambition: to create art so beautiful it needs no translation.