Hope for life
Edition of 100
Seven-colour lithograph on paper
Printed on a Marinoni press at Idem Studio, Paris
Signed and numbered by eL Seed and Bibi Zahra
BFK Rives 270 g/m2 hand-cut paper
103 x 40 cm
Some encounters impact you forever. I know it’s only been a few months since I met Bibi Zahra in Lesvos refugee camp, but the energy of this day has fueled me. She is a 75 years old Afghan woman who left her country in April 2022, running for her life and the life of her family. She started drawing when she arrived in Greece. She loves flowers and depicts them in her sketchbooks. The amount of drawings she created in such a short period is amazing. When I met her for the first time in September 2022, she invited me for a tea in her mobile home. She kept pulling sketchbooks from under her bed, showing them to me with pride, explaining each one. She mentioned that she draws when she feels good. Her work speaks for itself.
I proposed that we collaborate on a wall, where she would draw her flowers, and me my calligraphy. She asked me to write the phrase ‘اميد به زندگی’ a phrase in Farsi which means ‘hope for life’. I was surprised on how fast she jumped into the work. No doubts, no fears, no thoughts. Her son brought a metallic bed on which she would stand to reach the top of the wall and start tracing her flowers. Fast enough, we could see the first petals appearing on the surface of the wall. This was the first time she has ever drawn on a large scale and I felt as if she has been doing this all her life. I was amazed and humbled. Humbled by the fact that I would have to fill up the color for her. I didn’t have the exact colors as the ones she used on her sketch, but it was fine with her. She trusted the process. It was very hot that morning, so she went back to her mobile home and came back several times to check on me, making sure I was not ruining her drawing. Then I traced the calligraphy, interlacing it with her flowers, as if the two pieces were built together.
Few weeks after the project, Bibi got her papers and moved to Germany with her family. Collaborating again with Bibi Zahra on a lithograph is a testimony of the friendship that was build between us. For months, we have been calling and messaging each other. She doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak Farsi, but our humanity connects us. She has been sharing with me her artworks for the past few months. I love how passionate she is.
All the proceeds of this lithograph will be split equally between Bibi and I. Hopefully this will help her start a new life in Germany.
By acquiring this art piece, you are part of Bibi Zahra’s journey.
Thank you again for supporting my work. By doing so, you are contributing directly to my next personal
project and inspiring me to be inspired.
With love and gratitude,
"This is for whoever is homeless to become full of hope"
Bibi Zahra – Lesvos 2022