BANKSY IN CALAIS: Secretive street artist leaves Steve Jobs painting at refugee camp

Calais, FRANCE
VIJAY SHAH via The Wrap

Guerilla artist Banksy, famed for his powerful street art laced with socio-political commentary, has resurfaced again, this time at the notorious refugee camp, dubbed ‘The Jungle’ in Calais, France, online magazine The Wrap and the New York Times reported yesterday.

As the debate on the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis reverberates across Europe and much of the world, the Bristol artist, famed as much for his guarded anonymity as for his works of many of which have sold for several thousand pounds, left behind an artwork on a wall in the Jungle, depicting the late founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, whose father was said to have emigrated from Homs in Syria to the United States shortly after World War II.

(c) Banksy via The Wrap


The technology visionary is shown in his characteristic black turtle neck top and denim carrying a sack over one shoulder and holding a vintage Apple monitor in the other hand. The look in his face mirrors the same of many Syrian and other refugees, who often face dangerous trips across open seas and walking thousands of kilometres to reach safety in Europe.

Job’s birth father, a Syrian named Abdul Fattah Jandali, met Job’s mother one summer in his native hometown and later emigrated to the US.

“We’re often led to believe migration is a drain on the country’s resources, but Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant,” Banksy said in a statement. “Apple is the world’s most profitable company, it pays over $7 billion a year in taxes — and it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs.”

Nowadays, the debate about allowing Syrian refugees to settle in the United States has became increasingly negative, in comparison to places such as Germany and Canada, where refugees have been largely welcomed with open arms, including one planeload of refugees who were greeted by the Canadian prime minister himself. In the recent light of the tragic San Bernardino killings, where a foreign-born health service worker and his wife gunned down fourteen of their colleagues last week, and comments about banning Muslims from American territory made by presidential candidate Donald Trump, a recent poll among American state governors said that thirty-one were not open to allowing refugees to move to their states, according to The Wrap.

Banksy’s artworks, nearly always done in public areas using traditional stencils and paints have commented on everything from rampant consumerism, the credit crunch, politics, the war on terror to social media, celebrity culture and the British monarchy.

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc.
bar Yehudit, Twitter, Twitter Inc.
TheWrap, Twitter, Twitter Inc.
“Banksy Creates Steve Jobs Portrait to Support Syrian Refugees” –  Tim Kenneally, The Wrap/The Wrap News Inc. (11 December 2015)
“Banksy Creates Steve Jobs Portrait to Support Syrian Refugees” –  Tim Kenneally, The Wrap/The Wrap News Inc. (11 December 2015)