Banksy in Palestine: the 10 best works – part 1

Banksy has, since the beginning of his career, expressed political and social ideas through a biting satire. From Flower Thrower to Girl Frisking Soldier, his works have been surfacing along The Wall since 2000. Called West Banksy, these pieces of street art along the Israeli West Bank barrier have popped up over the span of 20+ years by the anonymous artist.   Banksy believes that the wall limits the freedom of the Palestinian people, inhibiting trade, the flow of goods, and travel to places of worship or interest. In order to communicate his idea of hope and make the message resonate around the world, he has spoken out against military oppression.    The protagonists of his works are mainly children who try, through imagination, to create a breach in the wall. The works express a complex mixture of emotions and meanings: from the cruelty of war to the desire for freedom. 

10. Unwelcome Intervention

  Titled “Unwelcome Intervention,” it was painted by Banksy in 2005 and depicts two children with a shovel and bucket. The split in the wall reveals a beach with palm trees. The contrast between the tropical paradise, the carefree nature of the children and the grayness and cruelty of the wall invokes a feeling of restraint or ungranted freedom.

9. Armored Dove

The dove is the symbol of peace. Banksy uses it here as a provocation, carrying an olive branch in its beak, no less. But Banksy’s dove is also adorned with a bulletproof vest and a crosshair, implying a threat to peace. 

8. Escapism

We see further depictions of children, who are often symbols of purity. An innocent child sits, smiling, at the foot of a ladder which he has drawn in chalk. The imaginary staircase can be viewed as the only means a child has to overcome the wall that divides Palestine from Israel

7. The war is coming

This untitled piece is one of Banksy’s most melancholic and dramatic works. After the destruction of some houses in Palestine, Banksy decided to leave his message on a surviving door left standing among the ruins. Here he drew a sculpture similar to that of the artist Rodin (the thinker) to question the destruction of war.

6. Flying Baloon Girl

One of Banksy’s most significant and poetic works is the Flying Balloon Girl. Following similar themes as we’ve seen from his work in the area, Banksy leans into childlike innocence. The little girl is transported upwards, presumably over the barrier that divides the two worlds. The poetic visual evokes a feeling of hope, whimsy, and freedom built upon the underlying tension of the canvas and the conflict.    Another notable work from the region includes a participatory piece; a scavenger hunt. Banksy behind a mural of a rat denoting the location of a stone engraved with a word underneath. Whoever found this stone was to be rewarded by the artist. That stone came to be known as SPIKE. Valuart currently has possession of SPIKE and has minted it into an NFT, the digital original, which will go up for auction on July 22nd. Check out the story here and stay tuned for more details.

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