All posts tagged: Tunisia

ROA in Tunisia and Brazil — New Homes for His Wildlife

ROA in Tunisia and Brazil — New Homes for His Wildlife

The urban naturalist ROA returns to us today with tales of his travels to two distinctly different regions of the world with great distances between their cultures as well as geography. What they have in common, besides ROA’s signature black and white animals and skeletons, is their natural beauty and stillness, transcending their contrasts.

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ROA. Djerba(-hood), Tunisia. 2014 (photo © ROA)

The very conservative town of Er-Riadh lies on the largest island of North Africa in Tunisia called Djerba (the D is rather silent in pronunciation). 100 or so street artists and muralists from around the world were invited along with ROA last year to create artworks on the walls of the mostly one story buildings in this arid region bordering the Mediterranean and Gulf of Gabes.

Organized by Mehdi Ben Cheikh, founder of the French Galerie Itinerrance, the “Djerbahood” project provides the visiting artists with unique canvases and settings, including the arched and domed architectural details that ROA ingeniously incorporates into some of his works.

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ROA. Djerba(-hood), Tunisia. 2014 (photo © ROA)

Following these Djerba images are new pieces spread across Brazil, where ROA traveled to see ruins and abandoned places around and between São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Brasilia, “exploring the fauna and flora and doing some little interventions,” he says. That remarkable understatement by the talented Mr. ROA may help viewers understand the diplomatic skills that a truly global graffiti / street / urban artist needs to have when carefully negotiating various cultures and localities around the world with an aerosol can in hand. What it doesn’t tell you about ROA is his sheer tenacity and curiosity for discovery. The work itself does that.

“I mostly painted abandoned structures that I found. I particularly liked an old train station I discovered that dates back to the time when we first began industrializing. It made me think of the outward spread of western civilization, the cutting down of forests and the hunting of animals. Naturally this was one of the inspirations for the trap, the arrows and the trapped toucan I painted in and around the old station.”

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ROA. Djerba(-hood), Tunisia. 2014 (photo © Aline Deschamps)

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ROA. Djerba(-hood), Tunisia. 2014 (photo © ROA)

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ROA. Djerba(-hood), Tunisia. 2014 (photo © ROA)

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ROA. Djerba(-hood), Tunisia. 2014 (photo © ROA)

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ROA. Djerba(-hood), Tunisia. 2014 (photo © ROA)

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ROA. Djerba(-hood), Tunisia. 2014 (photo © ROA)

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ROA. Brazil. 2014 (photo © ROA)

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This fish is heading for the water. ROA. Brazil. 2014 (photo © ROA)

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ROA. Brazil. 2014 (photo © ROA)

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A somewhat rudimentary trap recalling an earlier age at this abandoned train station site by ROA. Brazil. 2014 (photo © ROA)

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ROA. Brazil. 2014 (photo © ROA)

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ROA. Brazil. 2014 (photo © ROA)

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A departure from his usual, flying arrows that are likely headed toward his next subject. ROA. Brazil. 2014 (photo © ROA)

 

 

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BSA Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post.

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A Calligraffiti Journey Through Tunisia with eL Seed

A Calligraffiti Journey Through Tunisia with eL Seed

A Travelogue Through Familiar Land Leads the Aerosol Writer Along New Routes

eL Seed took a trip to discover his country and his roots and in the process learned about authentic and storied history, local culture, the generosity of strangers, and the strangeness of Darth Vader in the desert.

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“There is no separation between form and language in eL Seed’s work. His images embody language to the extent that the line and the subject become one, and the flow of the line is part of the meaning. The viewer does not have to understand Arabic to sense the poetry of the message,” says Jeffrey Deitch in the preface to Lost Walls, A Calligraffiti Journey Through Tunisia, and the seamless integration of intent, inquiry and inspiration carries throughout this country-wide journey.

Choosing walls, blocks and buildings to leave his visual poetry is not an act of graffiti as much as it is a weaving of this modern moment with historical heritage and public art as he discovers and shares his observations and conversations in this travelogue of towns and communities.

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

“I wake up to the full light of day. The city, it seems, is up well before me. From the window of my room, I can see a wall in shambles. It calls out to me. I leave quickly to find out its history and who owns it,” he writes of El Kef, one of about 20 towns and cities he visits and paints while exploring history and perspectives of neighbors. Spurred on by his near life-changing experience painting a verse from the holy Quran on a minaret in his ancestral home of Gabes, the revelations about how people reacted to his work illuminated his impressions of himself as well as others, eL Seed took on a path of inquisition and the discovery of new places to leave his mark.

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

The book is richly illustrated, heavily essayed, and openly spoken. The physical journey accompanies and internal one; a full spectrum of issues, ideas and quandaries that propel his ride through this small northern African country bordering the Mediterranean. While essayist Wassim Ghozlani examines the role of public art in the democratization of society, Amel Djait contemplates the role of cultural tourism to the future of the country. As a corollary to both threads eL Seed quizzically studies the semi-preserved site of a Star Wars movie filmed here in the desert and finds a sort of Western incursion that trivializes the heritage and struggle of the people, even as “music from the film resonates in my mind”.

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

Seeing these freestanding pieces of calligraffiti in the midst of monochromatic and sun bleached scenes baked in clay and sand is surprising and singular, a clarion call to the past using tools of the present. eL Seed has his unique perspective as he observes and acts, questions and listens, and finally as he blends what he learns into his gestural and stately script. If there is a way forward for the tribes and the traditions of such storied lands, it will be perhaps by a new third party who gains the trust and respect of the old and the new. By trekking carefully along many a cultural fine line containing myriad curves and turns, eL Seed is creating his own path forward in his home land while others are doing the same.

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

 

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eL Seed constructed this wall by hand, before dismantling it in “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

eL Seed “Lost Walls” A Calligraffiti Journey Through Tunisia. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin, Germany 2014

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Liliwenn on Island in Tunisia For Djerbahood with C215, El Seed, ROA

Liliwenn on Island in Tunisia For Djerbahood with C215, El Seed, ROA

The Djerbahood project is midway through its stated goal of having one hundred artists from 30 countries come to paint in this North African island in Tunisia called Djerba. Organized by the same folks who brought you Tour Paris 13, this sun-bleached town features a culture distinct from the mainland and many white-washed domed homes.

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El Seed working on his piece for The Djerbahood Project. Tunisia. July 2014. (photo screenshot from video below)

Here we have new exclusive photos of Liliwenn doing her installation and some screen shots of El Seed, Roa, and C215 from the teaser video attached below. The multi-cultural exchange will beautify a large number of walls in the small village and bring many artists to this island town of many traditions, fresh grilled fish, couscous and fricassee.

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Liliwenn at work while kids play nearby. The Djerbahood Project. Tunisia. July 2014. (photo © courtesy of Liliwenn)

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Liliwenn. Detail. The Djerbahood Project. Tunisia. July 2014. (photo © courtesy of Liliwenn)

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Liliwenn. Djerbahood Project. Tunisia. July 2014. (photo © courtesy of Liliwenn)

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Liliwenn. The Djerbahood Project. Tunisia. July 2014. (photo © courtesy of Liliwenn)

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C215’s finished piece for The Djerbahood Project. Tunisia. July 2014. (photo screenshot from video below)

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One of ROA’s many pieces for The Djerbahood Project. Tunisia. July 2014. (photo screenshot from video below)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
 
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BSA Film Friday: 03.01.13

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening: El Seed’s Calligraffiti on Jara Mosque, Icy & Sot: (Pre) East Middle West Tour, and Pixação street artist L7M Interview.

 

BSA Special Feature:

El Seed’s Calligraffiti on Jara Mosque, Gabes

 “This project in my hometown, Gabes, has been the most challenging project I’ve ever did, emotionally, physically and mentally,” says eL Seed.

And the trailer from the upcoming movie >> eL Seed: Tacapes

Icy & Sot: (Pre) East Middle West Tour

Pixação street artist L7M Interview

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From Here To Fame Publishing Present: Arabic Graffiti & Egyptian Street Art in Frankfurt. (Frankfurt, Germany)

From Here to Fame

Arabic Graffiti & Egyptian Street Art in Frankfurt

Graffiti artists from Egypt, Tunisia and Germany will create a street art gallery from 10th of April around the Tutankhamun exhibition hall in Frankfurt. Some of the best known and most active street artists from Egypt will participate, including Aya Tarek, Ammar Abo Bakr and Ganzeer. El Seed, a street artist from Tunisia whose work has influenced graffiti artists around the Arab world, and Andreas von Chrzanowski aka Case from Germany, who recently did murals in Egypt, complete this distinguished line-up.

Friday 13th of April

Opening of the Street Art Gallery

First Friday Egyptian Street Art & Arabic Graffiti
7:00 pm – Midnight

Arabic Graffiti – El Seed & Don Karl present the book and project
8:00 pm – Exhibition Foyer

Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution – Ganzeer & Don Karl
9:00 pm –  Exhibition Foyer
Tutankhamun exhibition hall, Mainzer Landstraße, Güterplatz, 60327 Frankfurt am Main

Since the start of the Arab uprisings the Middle East has seen an unparalleled explosion of graffiti. Many slogans which were later sung by the people on the streets first appeared on walls from Tunisia to Bahrain. Egypt has played a remarkable role in this phenomenon. Even when the army tanks rolled onto Tahrir Square in Cairo, they were immediately adorned with graffiti. Along with people from all walks of life, artists, calligraphers and designers took over the public space. In no time a vital and now globally acclaimed street art scene emerged. Arabic Graffiti is an intercultural project by From Here To Fame that involves artists, activists and academics from various Middle Eastern countries and their diasporas. Started as an art and book project, the recent events in the region have led to an active involvement of many participants in the transforming changes of the region. Events and exhibitions are currently being developed in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, France and Germany.

The project  Arabic Graffiti & Egyptian Street Art is part of the Festival of Egyptian Culture, the program for the exhibition Tutankhamun – His tomb and treasures in Frankfurt.

 

 

 

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