191.2 Banksy on the Israel-Palestine wall seen by the people: New worlds or world news?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 2:42 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Arthur LAURENT , Sciences-Po Paris, France
Marion SLITINE , EHESS, Israel
Banksy on the israel-palestine wall seen by the people: new worlds or world news?

Among Banksy's and JR’s international works, the Israel-Palestine wall ones may be one of the most controversial. Actually many more street artists have been coming to this “best featured street artists holiday destination” (Banksy’s own words). Largely broadcasted, overrepresented on the web it also achieved quite a good level of audience locally but for unexpected reasons: Banksy’s painting have become a touristic attraction and every Bethlehem business beginner taxi man should at least be able to show you some of his works if not give you a whole “Banksy tour”. But, what is the true impact of these paintings on the Bethlehem people?

This study will both present the paintings content and realization context as well as socio-political context and give first ideas on the potential social change potential it may have thanks to extensive qualitative survey performed on the field with neighbors of the wall.  This way it will contribute to the questioning on whether street art and street artists act as true social changers or creates food for media diffusion with no further impact on the social life they work in. Also it will compare these works with the flourishing Palestinian art scene and study the perception these artists have of it.  

As a PhD candidate in urban anthropology currently resident in Jerusalem and working in the French Cultural Center that aims at promoting Palestinian art, my research interest is on politics and art and I have both direct and easy access to the location, the neighbors direct testimony as I speak Arabic and of course the Palestinian art scene.

This study will shade light to the panel problematic from a different perspective: an everyday-life street art exposition medium: the Israel-Palestine wall.