Sparked by the reaction to his project on the minaret of the Jara Mosque in his home town of Gabes in 2012, eL Seed set out on a month long personal journey across Tunisia – his mother country – painting “lost walls” along the way. He spent the summer of 2013 finding walls that had been overlooked, forgotten or ‘lost’ and adorned them with messages in his poetic style.
eL Seed hoped that the ‘Lost Walls’ project would show another side of Tunisia to the world, at a time when certain negativities stemming from the revolution were drawing attention away from the deeper history, beauty and culture of his country. His walls, spreading messages of hope, love and unity touched the lives of many of the people he met on this highly emotional artistic journey and it was all documented in his first book, Lost Walls: Graffiti Road Trip through Tunisia
“After the revolution people, all people talked about Tunisia was political. There was a governmental change, of course, but the culture never left and the country has a deep history. The focus should be on all of this beauty instead. I wanted to bring people back to Tunisia to discover the heritage that is left and lost there by bringing attention to the ‘lost walls,” eL Seed says.
On the four week road trip, eL Seed painted 24 walls, spanning the entire country, “Sometimes we did two walls in a day,” he explains. “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 the ‘Lost Walls’ publication, published in 2014 by From Here to Fame.