Soul City Arts | Mohammed Ali | Aerasol Arabic

UK GRAFFITI ARTIST PAINTING AT THE VATICAN

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An Italian cardinal, a Serbian basketball star, the Cuban-born American singer Gloria Estefan and a Muslim graffiti artist from Birmingham, UK are among those invited to take part in the upcoming TEDxViadellaConciliazione event April 19th, the first ever TEDx event to take place in the Vatican State.

Though not to be confused with boxing giant Mohammad Ali, the award-winning U.K street artist bearing the same name, will present to an audience in the Vatican on how his Muslim faith has inspired his artwork and influenced his relationship with others. Mohammed Ali is the only British speaker to be invited to this first event in the Vatican State. He is an artist who has created thought-provoking street art in cities across the globe, with the aim of connecting people of different faiths.

He will be also be creating a piece of art live on stage and then hopes to present Pope Francis with the artwork as a gift.

Mohammed says, “It’s exciting to be presenting here in the Vatican, both as a street-artist, as well as an artist inspired by my Islamic faith.  We live in extraordinary times where the notion of ‘the clash of civilizations’ is frequently banded about.  I am hopeful that the ordination of the new Pope, will provide us with refreshing new opportunities of engaging and connecting with people.”

Already a global phenomenon lauded for its commitment to “ideas worth spreading,” TED.com’s online talks are gaining attention in Italy and other European countries through similarly locally organized “TEDx” events.

Speakers from all walks of life and profession are invited at TED events to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less.

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture has embraced the initiative of a group of academics in Rome to organize this TEDx forum on the subject of Religious Freedom – the first time ever that the theme has been tackled by a TEDx event.

One of the organizers of TEDxViadellaConciliazione, Giovanna Abbiati, explains how the speakers were selected:

“At the beginning, we really scoured the earth,” she says, looking for the right people to address the conference: “from Mexico to China, from Nigeria to Serbia…(looking) for people who have real stories to tell about religious freedom.”

The conference takes place Friday April 19th.  For more information on the event visit the website: http://www.tedxviadellaconciliazione.com

For more information: Contact Haroon Ravat of Soul City Arts on haroon@soulcityarts.com or call 07946 488 413

*Notes To Editors

Mohammed Ali is an award-winning Birmingham-based street artist who’s work has been celebrated as ‘building bridges between faith communities’. His work has graced walls from as far afield as Melbourne, New York, Dubai, Singapore and Casablanca.  More of his work can be seen at www.aerosolarabic.com

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