Quiet since his stint in New York last October, Banksy the Bristol born Street Artist, has unveiled an artwork to mark the third anniversary of the conflict in Syria. The piece reworks his iconic girl with a balloon which will be projected onto a number of landmarks around the world on 13 March. Included in the locations are Nelson’s Column, the Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum . The image raises awareness for #withsyria, a campaign which highlights the conflict and rallies support for the victims.
On the 6th March 2011 in the Syrian town of Daraa, fifteen children were arrested and tortured for painting anti-authoritarian graffiti. The protests that followed their detention led to an outbreak of violence across the country that would see a domestic uprising transform into a civil war displacing 9.3 million people from their homes. This appeared today on Banksy’s website and refers to 15 children who were detained triggering the first protests against the Assad regime in March 2011.
The Legendary UK graffiti artist Banksy’s work typically includes satirical social and political commentary, and ranges from murals to sculpture and installation, often playing with the contextual aspects of the work. The artist’s first solo show was held in 2002 at Los Angeles’ 33 1/3 Gallery, and in 2003 he was commissioned to design the cover of Blur’s Think Tank. Today, Banksy’s work appears internationally; most notably, he painted nine sardonic images on the Palestinian side of the West Bank barrier. In Summer 2009, Banksy took over the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery with an exhibition attracting over 300,000 visitors and hour-long queues all the way down the road. Last October he created one new work of art in New York for each day of the month.
A vigil will be held in Trafalgar Square in London at 18:00 GMT on March 13 from 6-7pm and will feature a light projection featuring a new Banksy work (above) onto Nelson’s Column. Talks by well known figures who’ve visited the war-torn region will take place. Actor Idris Elba and British band Elbow have also shown support for this profile-raising. Martyn Ware will create a soundscape with Syrian voices and sounds from the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, for the event.