The provocative street artist Banksy, famous for his usage of available architecture and public space to create his vast artworks, has brought his pieces to the Gaza Strip

On his website posted several new photos of his pieces he made there recently, and a video describing Gaza in a vacation-promo satire.  The video starts with a frame exclaiming, “Make this the year YOU discover a new destination.”

 

Several of the pieces are made right into the rubble of one of the villages, like this one below.

Banksy

This mural is on the remnants of a house that witnesses said was destroyed by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war last summer in Biet Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip (NPR)

 

Banksy then captioned the painting on his site,

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.

In the video Banksy provides, a man says of the kitten,  “This cat tells the whole world that she is missing the joy in her life.  The cat found something to play with, what about our children?”

 

The artist also stenciled children on a carousel-style swing around a prison watchtower.

Banksy

Another image in Biet Hanoun

In more dark satire, he captions the painting,

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.

Banksy is well known for inserting political statements into his art.  He had previously visited the West Bank in 2005, and he has made art full of poignant political views around the world, including a brief stint in New York City.  The artist’s publicist made a statement to the New York Times Wednesday morning, and would not reveal where the images were taken, or when.  She then listed a quote from Banksy:

I don’t want to take sides. But when you see entire suburban neighborhoods reduced to rubble with no hope of a future — what you’re really looking at is a vast outdoor recruitment center for terrorists.  And we should probably address this for all our sakes.

-Curt Cramer (@CurtisRemarc)