Releasing a two-minute video on his website featuring his new art pieces scattered across depressing Palestinian ruins, world’s best-known mystery graffiti artist Banksy repositions the popular ancient Greek myth of “Niobe” into the new spatio-temporal setting of Gaza.
Banksy, using his artistic stubbornness as his only gun, managed to gain access to Gaza, the world’s largest open air prison, “via a network of illegal tunnels,” according to the clip. Among damaged properties, he witnessed people “surrounded by a wall on three sides and a line of gun boats on the other.” With no cement allowed into Gaza since the bombing, people are suffering a totally harsh reality. In addition, the artist mentions metrics on Operation Protective Edge, a military operation launched by Israel in 2014, according to which 18,000 homes were destroyed.
By looking at Banksy’s photos, one will directly notice a straight reference to the ancient Greek myth of “Niobe” (photo 1), one of the most tragic figures in Ancient Greek mythology. Queen of Thebes Niobe, while bragging about her seven sons and seven daughters at a ceremony, unleashed goddess Lyto’s hatred who ordered the slaughter of all of Niobe’s 14 children, later turning her into stone.
With only a piece of scrap metal left to play with, a kitten stands alone amongst the scattered ruins of Gaza (photo 2). The “deafening cheering” of a bunch of nearby toddlers as they are swinging around a watchtower (photo 3), contradicts the silent mourning of a modern “Niobe” (photo 1) as she is petrified by the war against her children.
Watch the full video below: