The West Bank(sy)

April 18, 2017

2017 marks a historic year, it has been 100 years since the British occupation of Palestine and the start of the issues being faced today in the region. As a testament to the struggle, the well-known anonymous graffiti artist Banksy has opened The Walled Off Hotel, filled with his artwork, in the West Bank only steps from the separation wall.

front entrance

“The Walled Off Hotel” front entrance

The Hotel will be up for at least a year and is completely open to tourists who can: stay in rooms filled with his artwork

banksy room.jpg

Every room in the hotel is filled with Banksy artwork depicting the Israeli-Palestine conflict (often through a sarcastic lens)

visit the gallery

gallery

The Gallery is filled with independent artwork, all represent the conflict but come from various artists. Everyone may visit whether they are staying at the hotel or not.

have a drink at the piano bar

piano bar

The Banksy style is found everywhere, note the security camera “trophies” on the wall

or even buy spray paint and tools to mark the separation wall which, in their words is “not not illegal as the wall itself remains illegal under international law.”

the wall graffitti

The hotel house a “Wall*Mart” which will sell the tools needed as well as expert advice on how best to mark your section of the wall

The hotel tags itself as the hotel with “the worst view in the world” and hopes to draw the attention of locals and tourists alike in order to create a common ground on which to view the conflict from both sides and to spread the knowledge of this ordeal to hopefully broaden international discussion into resolving it.

wost view.jpg

The worst view in the world, complete with bay windows and a telescope

The artist himself has said that he will not be receiving any revenue from this hotel but instead the money gathered will first go towards breaking even the costs of creating it and then will go to local projects. Not only is the hotel open to everyone but it is run as an “independent local business” and therefore acts as a common ground for all to visit and participate in.

Through this project Banksy hopes to “tell the story from every side and give visitors the opportunity to discover it for themselves”. The hotel effectively creates a third space in order to disseminate knowledge and allow visitors to leave and contemplate what they have learned, spreading this knowledge and hopefully raising awareness.

Author: Nicolas Abbott

Sources:

http://banksy.co.uk/index.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-banksy-hotel-idUSKBN16R1RC

https://www.dezeen.com/2017/03/13/banksy-opens-art-filled-hotel-along-west-bank-barrier-hotels-interiors/

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