Banksy, if we can generalize, this generation´s most talked about street artist. Although no one knows his face, it’s easy to spot his artwork if found by chance. Some say he’s just famous for hiding his identity and making art in unimaginable locations. What many don’t know is his struggle for various social causes.
The British funded a boat to rescue refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. The vessel was named Louise Michel, and has been active since August 18, 2020.
Despite funding the cause, interest would have come from the artist when he sent the following email to Pia Klemp, a German biologist, and human rights activist. According to The Guardian, the message said: “Hello, Pia, I read about your story in the newspapers”, he wrote. “I’m an artist from the UK and I’ve done some work on the migrant crisis, obviously I can’t keep the money. Could you use it to buy a new boat or something? Please let me know. Banksy.”
Her artwork is all over the pink boat, featuring a girl in a life jacket holding a heart-shaped safety buoy, the Louise Michel sails under a German flag. The 31-meter motor yacht, formerly owned by the French authorities, is smaller but considerably faster than other NGO rescue vessels.
However, Italian authorities seized the vessel late last month. Without any official written explanation, the action took place on March 25 of this year, just two days later it became known that a new French law prohibits rescue ships from operating.
This is the new effort of the Italian government to prevent the entry of immigrants into the country.
The current war between Russia and Ukraine did not go unnoticed by the artist’s eyes. He went to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, to leave his art marked in residents’ homes.
However, the surprising thing was that the country would have issued postage stamps for one of his works. Originally shot in a residence that was hit by a missile, it is possible to see a man with clear similarities to Vladimir Putin, the current president of Russia, being knocked down in a judo match by a boy.
Many Ukrainians see this work as a portrayal of the country’s strength and resistance to the invasion that began in February 2022.
The article above was edited by Clarissa Palácio.
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