Have you heard about Banksy? Banksy is the pseudonym of a street artist born in Bristol, whose true identity is unknown. He started as a graffiti artist in 1990s as a part of the Bristol underground scene which is the culture associated not just with graffiti art but also with drum and bass, and that exists in Bristol to this day. Banksy got known worldwide for his characteristic stenciling technique and also because his work is often satirical and bears a political or a cultural message.
In 2005 Banksy went to Palestine, where he created nine paintings on The Israeli West Bank barrier that separates the Israeli and Palestinian population. The wall is controlled by a series of observation towers and stands allegedly three times the height of the Berlin wall and will eventually run the approximate distance from London to Zurich, which is 700km.
Banksy returned to Palestine this year to leave some of his stencil work in Gaza. Gaza is just about 146 square miles big with population of 1.8 million, which makes it one of the top 40 most densely populated places on the planet. Banksy posted a series of photos and a mini-documentary on his official website. The reason he did this was to remind people of the situation in the devastated Gaza.
The text added into his short documentary video speaks for everything:
“Make this the year YOU discover a new destination. Welcome to Gaza. Well away from the tourist track. (Access is via a network of illegal tunnels.) The locals like it so much they never leave. (Because they’re not allowed to.) Nestled in an exclusive setting. (Surrounded by a wall on three sides and a line of gun boats on the other.) Watched over by friendly neighbors. (In 2014 Operation Protective Edge destroyed 18,000 homes.) Development opportunities are everywhere. (No cement has been allowed into Gaza since the bombing.) Plenty of scope for refurbishment.”
Whenever a new work from Banksy appears, it is all over the internet. Banksy chose to make use of his popularity by raising awareness of political and social issues, in this case of the almost forgotten situation in Gaza. One of his work he left there said: “If we wash our hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless we side with the powerful – we don’t remain neutral”.
Check out Banksy’s Website for more interesting pictures and videos.