Graffiti artist Banksy recently toured Palestine’s Gaza Strip to raise awareness about “the world’s largest open air prison.” During his tour, the infamous street artist completed several new works and filmed a compelling video. The results were posted on Banksy’s website in an effort to highlight the devastating effects of war.
In July 2014, Israel launched a brutal attack against the Gaza Strip. The military operation, called “Operation Protective Edge,” lasted nearly two months and left more than 2,000 people dead. As reported by Telegraph, more than 500 Palestinian children were killed in the devastating conflict.
Although living conditions along the strip were never ideal, the military strike caused overwhelming damage — both physical and emotional. Thousands of residents lost their families and their homes. Resources, including electricity and clean water, are always scarce.
As leaving and entering the strip is nearly impossible, the Gazans have little opportunity to rebuild or seek a better life elsewhere.
— The Dream Defenders (@Dreamdefenders) February 26, 2015
Banksy’s new work, which is displayed on Gaza ruins, highlights the extensive damage suffered during the conflict and the residents’ ongoing plight. The featured paintings include a kitten playing with a ball of twisted metal, children swinging on a watch tower, and a woman weeping in the doorway of a destroyed building.
Although Banksy’s true identity remains unknown, his work has appeared on buildings and other structures worldwide. As reported by Street Art Bio, the infamous street artist’s work “can impact any location at any given moment.”
Banksy’s art often contains a controversial message or theme. As a result, images of his paintings often go viral within hours of discovery.
— Palestine Info Eng. (@palinfoen) February 26, 2015
In addition to spray-paint, Banksy uses stencils and disgarded objects to enhance his work. For example, the kitten in the Gaza Strip painting appears to be playing with a wire ball. However, the ball is not part of the painting. Instead, the artist used a large ball of scrap metal, which was found at the scene.
Although he is one of the world’s most famous street artists, Banksy remains an enigma. Numerous people and publications have attempted to expose his true identity. However, the artist’s identity has never been proven or confirmed.
Banksy prefers to stay out of the spotlight, but his work is designed to bring attention to vital social and political issues. His latest work on the Gaza Strip is no exception.
[Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]