Lost or forgotten were the walls that now proudly carry the messages of eL Seed, from his road trip around Tunisia during the summer 2013, beautifully and poetically documented in his first book ‘Lost Walls’. Sparked by the reaction to his project on the minaret of the Jara mosque in his home town of Gabes, eL Seed decided to set out on a month long personal journey across his mother country painting ‘Lost Walls’ along the way. The resulting book provides a unique and rare insight into eL Seed artistic process and Tunisia.
eL Seed hoped that ‘Lost Walls’ will show another side of Tunisia to the world, at a time when certain negativities stemming from the revolution have drawn attention away from the deeper history, beauty and culture of his country. His walls, spreading messages of hope, love and unity had already touched the lives of many of the people he met on this highly emotional artistic journey.
“What I would like from ‘Lost Walls’ is to give another image of Tunisia. After the revolution people now only link the country to politics. There has been governmental change of course, but the culture is still there, the history is still there and the focus should be on all of this beauty instead. I want to bring people back to Tunisia to discover the heritage that is left and lost there, just like the ‘Lost Walls’,” says eL Seed.
On the four week calligraffiti road trip, eL Seed painted 24 walls in total, spanning the entire country, “Sometimes two walls in a day,” he says. “I would drive to a place stop there and meet the locals. There is an Arabic saying that goes: ‘You enter a city only with its men’ and in Tunisia there is always a way to meet the people. And the people are the country.”
eL Seed is proud to have the added support of Jeffrey Deitch, art collector, philanthropist and owner of Deitch Projects New York, who kindly wrote the foreword to ‘Lost Walls’.