The appeal of what this anonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist and film director — Banksy, has fostered, is far more than mere compelling political art.
When it comes to Palestine, Bansky is positioning this dispossessed nation and highlighting its plight in a way that is edgy, compelling and ultra-cool. Not even the slick Israeli official PR machine can compete in nullifying the place destination brand that Bansky is cementing by default via the now famous graffiti on the 436-mile long segregation wall, with controversial art.
Banksy In Bethlehem
A flourishing counter-culture tourism channel is now flowing in this deprived area. Apart from the surreal Walled Off Hotel and in-house museum, facing the illegally erected concrete wall, today there is even a Banksy art tour in Bethlehem to shepherd the growing numbers of global visitors keen for a tourism experience that mostly engenders a mix of horror, sadness and empathy.
Along with other graffiti artists, Banksy, usually displays his art on publicly visible surfaces such as walls and self-built physical prop pieces.
Whilst his name and identity remain unknown, probably because graffiti is essentially a crime, it has been speculated that a team of seven artists forms Bansky.
An ” X ” For Xmas
This politically charged painting of nativity scene known as the ‘Banksy Christmas card’ depicts a picture of Joseph and Mary crossing the dessert on their way to Bethlehem, blocked by the infamous apartheid wall that separates Israel from Palestine as well as the West Bank. The piece first appeared at Santa’s Ghetto exhibit in London in 2005, following Banksy’s trip to the Middle East.
Reflecting today’s dystopian reality by using art to send a potent message of dissent, the biblical story of Joseph and Mary – two refugees themselves who were said to travel across this same land thousands of years ago – would have paradoxically have needed Israeli permission to enter the town of Bethlehem too.
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Tanya knew that Palestine was her symbolic homeland. Always curious about her identity and connecting with her roots, she was eager to strengthen her ties to the Levant and traveled the region, desperate to learn more. It wasn’t until her first trip to Palestine that she became spiritually and emotionally connected.
She studied Political Science and Sociology at the University of Toronto. She then moved to the UAE, supporting numerous NGOs related to children’s welfare in the region. When she had her own family, she created the My Olive Roots platform in the hopes that her children and the Arabs diaspora would have a place to connect, learn and preserve their roots. Tanya enjoys discovering humanist stories and exploring the connection of food and art with culture.