Even the great artist Banksy, who has always been attentive to social issues, spoke out on the protests against racism that exploded in the United States (and in the rest of the world) after the murder of George Floyd, the 46-year-old African American killed by a policeman who immobilized him with his knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 40 seconds. And he does it on Instagram, where he has a following of 9.2 million followers and where, for a few days, he has changed his profile image with a completely black photo, a symbol of the #BlackoutTuesday protest on social networks, the initiative born in world of music as a “strike” and moment of awareness of police brutality. The famous street artist shared two shots of an installation depicting the framed (and black) portrait of a man, perhaps George Floyd, alongside some fresh and dried flowers and a burning candle, setting the American flag on fire and Stripes.
The third photo of the post instead is a text written in white characters, on a black background. “Initially, I thought I should be silent and let black people intervene on the matter. Why should I have done this? It is not their problem. But it’s mine. Black people are ignored by the system. The white system. Like a broken pipe that floods people’s apartment downstairs. This broken system makes their life miserable, but it’s not their job to fix it. They can’t – no one will let them into the upper floor apartment. It’s a whites problem. And if the whites don’t fix it, someone will have to go upstairs and break the door. ” Banksy uses the metaphor of the broken pipe to enter the heart of the protest, after a silence that lasted over 10 days on a story that shocked the whole world. And lets guess, from his words, to be a white man. A clue to his identity, always a mystery to the public: only his hometown is known as Bristol.
Demonstrations against racism
Banksy shared his message of support for the fight against racism on the occasion of the demonstrations that animated cities around the world to protest against inequalities: Washington, where thousands marched on the streets, but also London, Bristol itself Banksy, in Italy Turin and Bologna. Before yesterday’s post, his last message on Instagram – the only social media site hosting an official artist account – dated back to May 6, when Banksy shared “Game changer”, a work in which a child was represented intent on playing with a heroine nurse: a tribute to the work of doctors and health workers on the field against Covid-19.
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