I have been tremendously fortunate to meet my favorite artist for a second time during my one-year stay in the United States, in a very vibrant location. The artist “El Seed” is internationally recognized for his Arabic calligraphy, and through this medium, for spreading an appeal for peace.
I first had the opportunity to meet him in Philadelphia, where he was participating in the (DIS)PLACED project in partnership with Mural Arts and Al-Bustan. It was a community beautification initiative in West Philadelphia, where his calligraphy adorned the wall at Preston & Market Street.
It was here that he found the following quote, and transformed it into his signature:
“I believe that all men, black and brown and white, are brothers, varying through time and opportunity, in form and gift and feature, but differing in no essential particular, and alike in soul and the possibility of infinite development.” – W.E.B. Du Bois, Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil, published in 1920.
As my time in the United States is limited, I’m an explorer, eager to see more of the country. I recently visited Miami, a vibrant city full of beautiful landscapes and infused with a tropical spirit. Fusing the modern lifestyle with the authenticity of Latin culture, the city is a veritable feast of color and culture.
In the mid to late 1900s, the Wynwood neighborhood was known as a district for Caribbean immigrants. By the early 2000s, the neighborhood had fallen into disrepair, but after a decade of economic recession, the neighborhood experienced a renaissance driven by the rehabilitation of neglected warehouses, demolished factories, and abandoned buildings, which were transformed into a vibrant neighborhood drawing artists from all over the world.
Today, Wynwood is one of the largest creative communities in the United States and a global destination for art, fashion, and innovation. It hosts more than 400 businesses and 200 street murals.
Art Basel came to Miami in November 2017, with a theme labeled HumanKIND. To the delight of local visitors, El Seed featured his art—and his creative process—alongside artists from all over world. He transformed the following quote into beautiful Arabic calligraphy on a fortunate wall: ‘‘We must all be nomads. We must pass the ideas in the same way that we cross streets and cities.’’