Destination: Gaza! Banksy 'promotes' Gaza travel in satirical video

Published February 27th, 2015 - 05:26 GMT

Guerrilla street artist Banksy has released a satirical travel advert - for trips to the Gaza Strip.

After travelling to the war-torn region, the elusive artist, who keeps his identity under wraps, posted the video, which shows what life is like for Palestinians living there. 

In the spoof travel video, he invites the audience to 'Make this the year YOU discover a new destination' while setting the pitiful scene, showing bomb damage and rubble.

Beginning in a tunnel, the video describes Gaza as 'well away from the tourist track,' before adding  'access is via a network of illegal tunnels'.

'The locals like it so much they never leave,' it says, continuing 'because they're not allowed to'.

Viewers are privy to a selection of haunting images from children playing among tumble-down buildings to the severe bomb damage in the region, the result of a 50-day conflict which left 3,000 injured and over 500 Palestinian children dead. 

The video also desribes Gaza as nestling 'in an exclusive setting (surrounded by a wall on three sides and a line of gun boats on the other), watched over by friendly neighbours (in 2014 Operation Protective Edge destroyed 18,000 homes).' 

And as footage from a drone strike is shown, subtitles read: 'Development opportunities are everywhere.'

The anonymous graffiti artist also created some of his trademark spray painted artwork among the rubble, including a stencil of children swinging from a surveillance tower. 

At one point viewers get a glimpse of him, though his face is hidden under a hooded sweatshirt.

As usual with Banksy's thought-provoking work the short video has a strong message. 'This cat tells the whole world that she is missing joy in her life,' a local man says, pointing to one of the artists paintings, a cat on the side of a crumbling wall.

'The cat found something to play with. What about our children?

The short film closes with a handpainted message, scrawled on a wall in red paint: 'If we wash our hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless we side with the powerful - we don't remain neutral.'

The Bristolian artist's true identity remains a closely guarded secret. It's thought that his refusal to reveal himself may have started simply to avoid prosecution for what could be described as acts of vandalism. He has been photographed in the past but always wearing a mask or hood.

This air of mystery has helped Banksy to become one of the most successful artists of his generation.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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