In December 2007 street artist Banksy and the Pictures on Walls organisation travelled to the West Bank in Palestine as a venue for their annual “squat art concept store”, Santa’s Grotto.
They brought with them 14 other street artists from around the world. In bringing their usually London-based exhibition to Palestine they forced art collectors to see the truth behind what was happening in the occupied territory.
But the artists also took on the apartheid wall built by Israel to block free movement by Palestinians. The results, pieces of art made using brushes, spray paints and stencils, are shown in their full glory in William Parry’s comprehensive collection of photographs from the wall.
Many images are now iconic, such as Banksy’s stencil of a silhouetted young girl using balloons to float up the wall, or the living room with a window showing lakes and mountains. This particular picture was “debeautified” by one local, who painted a brick wall over the view.
The book also shows photos chronicling the everyday oppression people face at checkpoints and provides information about how the wall affects the lives of so many, all in the name of Israeli “security”.
This is a beautiful collection of work that shows the horrors of oppression and an illustration of how art can be used as a tool of resistance.
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