• gerard van weyenbergh

Banksy supports the migrants

The famous graffiti artist would have financed the Louise Michel ship collecting migrants in the Mediterranean. Since 2015 with the "Jungle" of Calais, he continues to engage. Le Figaro looks back on its most important actions.

Graffiti artist Banksy has reinterpreted Géricault's raft of medusa in his own way, a symbol of his commitment to migrants.

Banksy's exact identity is not known. On the other hand, we know his political commitments, which are most often adorned with a nice humanitarian coat.

His latest coup, revealed by The Guardian, is to have financed, apparently, without ostentation, a ship baptized Louise Michel (named after the French anarchist of the 19th century), which cruises in the Mediterranean to pick up migrants in distress.

Combined with a poetic approach with libertarian inspirations, Banksy's work defends in the first and second degree an essentially anti-capitalist political vision. After having supported the Palestinian cause in the 2000s, at the start of his career, the now millionaire star graffiti artist has since 2015, and the "Calais Jungle" affair set his sights on the rescue of migrants.

Steve Jobs, "the Syrian of Calais" (2015) see photo below

We owe him in several particular works devoted to migrants in Calais, two in the city center, and one in the "Jungle".

At the entrance to the said "Jungle ", the Briton's first creation represents the founder of Apple Steve Jobs (1955-2011), who wears a bundle on his left shoulder and a Macintosh computer in his right hand, next to several tents where migrants live. The latter will have affirmed to have appreciated the work carried out on a pylon of the ring road leading to Calais' port, without however knowing who is Banksy or Steve Jobs.

Banksy explained that he represented the American entrepreneur because of his Syrian origins. "We are often led to believe that immigration is a loss for a country's resources, but Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian immigrant. Apple is the company that makes the most profits, and which pays more than seven billion dollars in taxes, but that could have been the case only because a man from Homs was able to enter in the United States".

Sotheby's sells a work by Banksy for migrants (2017)

Banksy will have donated the money raised from a triptych's auction, valued at more than a million dollars, to a hospital in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. Entitled Vue de la Mer Méditerranée, 2017 , the work composed of three paintings was auctioned at Sotheby's in London, 2.2 million pounds.

These paintings represent three views of a raging sea, and orange life jackets and lifebuoys washed up on the beach, "in allusion to the lives lost at sea during the migrant crisis in Europe in the 2010s"... Le Figaro