” eL Seed, a 31-year-old French Tunisian artist, has just used his distinctive style of Arabic street art, which he calls “calligraffiti,” to decorate the tallest minaret in Tunisia with a verse from the Quran that tackles intolerance.”Street art is not new to Tunisia, but it was much more small scale before the revolution,” he said. “I would do a wall in a community and people in the neighborhood would come along and help me.
“In the beginning I would work when no-one was around, but as I got more well-known, people would invite me to decorate their walls.”
After the revolution in January 2011, street art was possible on a bigger scale, he said.
“Before the revolution art in Tunisia was quite bourgeois, but if you put big pieces of art on walls it is for everyone,” said eL Seed, now living in Montreal, Canada.
“The revolution pushed people to be more creative because before they were scared — and now they have more freedom.”
eL Seed said he believed both the artists and the religious extremists were showing intolerance and he wanted to bring a message of tolerance.
“My goal was to bring people together, which is why I chose these words from the Quran,” said eL Seed. “I like graffiti because it brings art to everyone. I like the fact of democratizing art. “