Banksy in Palestine in artistic way.

The British graffiti artist has been painting in Palestine since the mid-2000s

A Palestinian boy walks past a Banksy mural of children using an Israeli army watch tower as a swing ride in Beit Hanoun, Gaza, as seen on April 10, 2015. EPA
‘The Flower Thrower’, arguably one of the most famous works by Banksy, depicts a masked Palestinian man throwing a bouquet of flowers, seen in Bethlehem on December 12, 2018. EPA
A work by Banksy, seen in Bethlehem in December 2007. The stencilled work has been interpreted to depict a small girl in a dress, thought to be Palestinian, frisking an Israeli soldier. EPA
An armed Palestinian policeman stands before ‘The Armoured Dove’, a graffiti painting by Banksy depicting a peace dove wearing a flak jacket with crosshairs on the bird’s chest, painted on a wall at the entrance to the West Bank city of Bethlehem, as photographed on January 6, 2019. EPA
Banksy opened The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem in 2017. EPA
A view through a window inside The Walled Off Hotel. EPA
A room at The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem with a work by Bansky, depicting an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian protester during a pillow fight. EPA
A graffiti mural of a kitten by Banksy, on the wall of the Al Shimbari family’s home, which was damaged during the 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. Seen on February 27, 2015. EPA
‘Scar of Bethlehem’ is a modified nativity set that Banksy created for the Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem in December 2019 . EPA
A work by Banksy, depicting a camel with human figures climbing up and down its legs. Seen on December 4, 2007. EPA
A mural by Banksy in Beit Hanoun, as seen in February 2015, depicts a bent figure wearing a head scarf, painted on the door of a home destroyed by the Israeli military in 2014. EPA
A stencilled work by Banksy, showing an Israeli soldier asking a donkey for its identity card, seen on December 4, 2006. EPA
Graffiti thought to be by Banksy, as seen in December 2007 in Bethlehem. The white donkey has what appears to be a small Palestinian village on its bac,k and the black donkey carries on its back what appears to be a modern Israeli town. The work was not signed by Banksy. EPA
Banksy street art on the entrance to the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, as seen on April 18, 2019. EPA
This stencil of a tank being towed away on the wall of a house on a main street in Bethlehem is credited to Banksy, but not signed, as seen December 4, 2007. EPA

From murals on the walls of destroyed family homes in Gaza to a hotel in Bethlehem, giant stencilled pieces on the Segregation Wall and an ironic travel campaign, elusive British street artist Banksy is no stranger to creating work in and about Palestine.

Since the mid-2000s, identifiable pieces by the artist have been spotted in Gaza and the West Bank, with collections of his paintings dubbed ‘West Banksy’.

The street artist rarely makes spoken statements, choosing instead to speak through his work.

He is behind The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, located metres away from the West Bank barrier. Through the website’s FAQ section and gift shop, you get a clear sense of the artist’s political and ethical stance.

“Just in case you weren’t sure what Banksy thinks about the wall (not a fan) his latest range of ‘souvenir collectables’ anticipate the day the concrete menace has been defeated and feral youth scribble on its skeletal remains,” the gift shop’s description reads. In the physical shop, you can buy a collection of ‘Defeated’ wall replicas.

“For those of you concerned that making glorified tourist tat from military oppression is ethically dubious – there is at least the solace that each wall is lovingly hand-painted by craftspeople in the local area,” the website continues.

His work often spotlights military oppression, with an Israeli solder asking a donkey for its ID in one piece, and a small Palestinian girl frisking a solider in another.

In 2015, he released a tourism video about Gaza. “Make this the year you discover a new destination,” the caption sarcastically reads. “Welcome to Gaza.”

“The locals like it so much they never leave,” the video goes on to say, showing footage of young children on a street, “because they’re not allowed to,” cutting to scenes of Israeli military.

The tourism campaign is interspersed with facts about the occupation, and it shows the back of Banksy painting on a destroyed door.

It also includes quotes from a Palestinian man, who draws attention to one of the paintings, a cat wearing a pink bow, saying: “This cat tells the whole world that she is missing joy in her life. The cat found something to play with. What about our children?”

The sub-two-minute film ends with a quote, spray-painted on a wall, which reads: “If we wash our hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless we side with the powerful – we don’t remain neutral.”

(Source: The National)


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