Ironically enough street artist Banksy owes much of his fame to the fact that his identity remains unknown, but that’s not all. The world’s most mysterious street artist paved the way for street art to become a socially acceptable form of art and not mere vandalism.
Banksy is known for his politically outspoken art that criticizes the system, society, and warfare. His most recent pun is a mini documentary about Gaza that he published last Wednesday night on his website.
What seems as an infomercial or tourism advertisement that invites you to take your next trip outlines the harsh reality of the people living in Gaza. On his website he explains, “Gaza is often described as ‘the worlds largest open air prison’ because no one is allowed to enter or leave. But that seems a bit unfair to prisons-they don’t have their electricity and drinking water cut off randomly almost every day.”
In the almost 2-minute video Banksy passes through what he calls a “network of illegal tunnels” before entering Gaza where he finds children playing in ruins and shambles.
The video also includes footage of drone strikes and a statistic about Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, which in 2014 destroyed 18,000 homes.
There are also images of the artist himself – masked of course – that see him spraying on the walls in Gaza.
Each image is accompanied by an inviting sentence to highlight the attractiveness of the destination, only to be followed by a hard dose of reality:
The locals like it so much they never leave
(Because they’re not allowed to)
The documentary ends with a graffiti that 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.”
What do you think about the message that Banksy sends?
You can watch the full video here:
All images were taken from the Banksy website.