An article that caught my eye over at the Electronic Intifada is a few weeks old, from September 2nd in fact. Nigel Perry discusses The Wall that is currently being built to encage Palestinians, from a truly artsy point of view. Two artists, Nathan Edelson and Banksy, representing really the two ways you can look at this wall. The former wishing to whitewash it as the issue itself is being done by Israel, and the latter chipping away at it with a brush and stencils. Anyways it’s a really interesting and enjoyable read.
Graffiti artist Banksy recently hacked the wall this past summer. Here are some of the results with a few excerpts from the article.
Ã¢??How illegal is it to vandalize a wall,Ã¢?Â asks Banksy in his website introduction to his Wall project, Ã¢??if the wall itself has been deemed unlawful by the International Court of Justice? The Israeli government is building a wall surrounding the occupied Palestinian territories. It stands three times the height of the Berlin wall and will eventually run for over 700km – the distance from London to Zurich. The International Court of Justice last year ruled the wall and its associated regime is illegal. It essentially turns Palestine into the worldÃ¢??s largest open-air prison.Ã¢?Â
Banksy’s site offers two snippets of conversations with an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian who happened upon him while he was in the process of creating the series of nine pieces on the Wall, in Bethlehem, Abu Dis, and Ramallah.
Soldier: What the fuck are you doing?
Me: You’ll have to wait til it’s finished
Soldier (to colleagues): Safety’s off
…a conversation Banksy reports having with an old Palestinian man:
Old man: You paint the wall, you make it look beautiful.
Old man: We don’t want it to be beautiful, we hate this wall, go home
We don’t want anyone to beautify it! I felt truely disgusted when I first saw the supposedly pretty paintings on the wall…art if possible should serve a noble cause and when it doesn’t then at least it should not serve an evil one. Beautifying this beast is so insensitive and inconsiderate.
If we stack corpses to form the pyramids or made them look like mounds of gold is that art too?
And the last thing we need is another big lie about the wall being the largest art work in the world, won’t that make Israel look good at least in the eyes of the ignorants?
As a Palestinian I do not feel that those who are drawing on the wall are trying to ‘beautify’ it. They are expressing their reaction to it, and most of the time it is a negative reaction, but also with hope.
I like these art works, many are done by Palestinians too and others. They are a form of protest.