Banksy on New Gaza Art: We Care More About Kittens Than Human Suffering
"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."
Banksy painted new murals in the Gaza Strip in an effort to raise awareness of destruction in the war-torn region. The graffiti artist also made a "travel advertisement" video showcasing the aftermath of Gaza's recent conflict with Israel. The video is captioned with text such as: “The locals like it so much they never leave (because they’re not allowed to).”
On his website, Banksy posted photos of his new murals in Gaza, with descriptions for some of them. He explained his mural of a cat, writing, "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."
Captioning his painting of children using a guard tower like a theme-park ride, the artist said, "Gaza is often described 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."
Another painting called "Bomb Damage" shows a woman grieving. Street Art News reported this piece was inspired by the Greek mythological figure Niobe, who turned into a weeping stone after mourning the death of her children.
The end of the minidocumentary shows Banksy's writing on a concrete wall: "If we wash our hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, we side with the powerful — we don't remain neutral."