So, I’m sure some people are wondering why Banksy’s getting a lot of shit.
I want to first day that, yes, he is “spreading awareness” and that would be great, if he was doing something other than painting inside stencils.
But it’s not really “activism” and it’s not helping. Why? Because
1.) He’s allowed to travel into the West Bank and Gaza, apparently with little trouble, whenever he feels like it. Something the majority of Palestinians can’t do.
2.) his “art” is created to appease the western gaze. It’s making the situation in Gaza like his own personal art show project. I’m not aware of him setting up workshops or giving tools to Palestinian youth to help them find non-violent means of resistance.
3.) He’s talking over Palestinian artists and organizations that are trying to give the youth in Gaza and the West Bank an outlet. Who are on the ground. Who literally cannot leave. They have to stay there. That’s their home.
4.) he’s not a fucking saint and if people want to criticize his work they can. And we should. Why can’t we? Because he’s white (if he’s white)? Because he has a global image? Because he’s bringing awareness?
He’s a brand. Plain and simple.
His art is nothing but a showcase for him. And he’s using Palestine as his own canvas.
It’s not a fucking gallery.