eL Seed challenges cultural perceptions with city-scale anamorphic art in cairo
 
eL Seed challenges cultural perceptions with city-scale anamorphic art in cairo eL Seed challenges cultural perceptions with city-scale anamorphic art in cairo
mar 25, 2016

eL Seed challenges cultural perceptions with city-scale anamorphic art in cairo

eL Seed challenges cultural perceptions with city-scale anamorphic art in cairo
all images courtesy of eL Seed

 

 

 

in an effort to challenge preconceived notions about cultures and communities, ‘calligraffiti’ artist eL Seed has realized ‘perception’ in the neighborhood of manshiyat nasr in cairo. the installation has been set in the coptic community of zaraeeb — a place known for collecting trash in the city, and for developing an efficient and profitable recycling system for it. despite its ingenuity and essentiality, the town and its inhabitants are commonly perceived as dirty, and are often marginalized and belittled by outside areas.

el-seed-perception-zaraeeb-egypt-optical-street-art-designboom-02
the anamorphic piece spans across 50 buildings in the community of zaraeeb

 

 

 

blending the historic art of arabic calligraphy and the contemporary style of graffiti, ‘perception’ sheds light on the architectural and cultural aspects of this community by illustrating an anamorphic piece across 50 of its buildings. only completely visible from a specific point on the mokattam mountain, the painting spans the urban-scale of zaraeeb, inscribed on residential building façades and rooftops. the piece spells out the words of saint athanasius of alexandria, a coptic bishop from the 3rd century, who said: anyone who wants to see the sunlight clearly needs to wipe his eye first — إن أراد أحد أن يبصر نور الشمس، فإن عليه أن يمسح عينيه’

 

through its play of optical perception, the artwork stresses the idea that changing your point of view can greatly affect what you can fully see.

el-seed-perception-zaraeeb-egypt-optical-street-art-designboom-02
the piece can only be fully revealed from a certain vantage point

 

 

 

‘the zaraeeb community welcomed my team and I as if we were family,’ eL Seed says. ‘it was one of the most amazing human experiences I have 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.’

el-seed-perception-zaraeeb-egypt-optical-street-art-designboom-02
the artwork illustrates the quote ‘anyone who wants to see the sunlight clearly needs to wipe his eye first’

el-seed-perception-zaraeeb-egypt-optical-street-art-designboom-02
the artist collaborated with his own team and members of the local community

el-seed-perception-zaraeeb-egypt-optical-street-art-designboom-02
the artwork blends the historic art of arabic calligraphy and the contemporary style of graffiti

el-seed-perception-zaraeeb-egypt-optical-street-art-designboom-02
the artwork challenges preconceived notions about cultures and communities

el-seed-perception-zaraeeb-egypt-optical-street-art-designboom-02
the original sketch that became the starting point for the installation

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

art news

×
keep up with our daily and weekly stories
492,670 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample