Thursday, 26 February 2015

Banksy creates street art in Gaza criticising 'world's largest open-air prison'


Banksy has created new street art in Gaza in one of his most provocative political projects to date.

The street artist's graffiti stencils on concrete rubble include an image of a crying figure wearing a head scarf, a dark scene of children playing on a fairground ride and a white cat licking its paws.

Banksy posted photographs of his work to his official website, captioning his first stencil of the sad, crouching figure simply as “Bomb damage, Gaza City.”


In another caption, he says: “Gaza is often describes as ‘the world’s 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.”

His final image of a huge white cat appears to be a statement about the rest of the world’s indifference to the Israel-Gaza conflict.


Under the photograph of the large mural, Banksy wrote on his website: “A local man came up and said ‘Please – what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website – but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens.”


The anonymous street artist also posted a video about Gaza on his website, entitled “Make this year the year YOU discover a new destination.”

The spoof video sells Gaza as a desirable tourist destination to viewers with strap lines such as “the locals like it so much they never leave”, which Banksy then counters with comments such as “(because they’re not allowed to)”.

The two minute video also shows a local man’s reaction to Banksy’s big white cat graffiti.

“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?,” he said.

The artist, who began working on the streets of Bristol, has often used anti-establishment messages in his work.

His best-known stencils include “Kissing Coppers” painted on the side of a Brighton pub and “Slave Labour”, which shows a young boy hunched over a sewing machine making Union Jack bunting.

In 2013, Banksy undertook an unofficial “artist’s residency” in New York, in which he created a piece of street art a day for a month including his controversial graffiti “Ghetto4Life” in the Bronx.