I’m no expert, Banksy, but what’s the point? Is it art satirising fascism?
A plush, retro hotel juxtaposed against The Wall (Hebrew: Geder HaBitakhon) which, as everyone knows, imposes a crushing force on the freedom of Palestinians. To all intents and purposes, it is a monument to the psychosis which pervades Israel. Nevertheless, the wall is a barrier which callously dissects people’s homes and lives denying them even the most basic of human expectations.
Despite this or because of it, The WalledOff Hotel is art and as such means something. I think it means a great deal.
This particular hotel, conceived by this particular artist, being placed in that specific place, adorned in the way it is, makes it not a celebration of Apartheid, nor a denunciation of it, but a bizarre and jarring comment on how casually tolerance flips between gratification for preferential comfort to the horror of genocide happening just a few feet away.
To our universal shame, this paradox is something we have grown accustomed to, exemplified by the sight of G20 world leaders being treated so lavishly whilst assuring the rest of the world that they take poverty, and genocide, very, very seriously.
Words contain no nutrients neither do they provide any comfort to a people being systematically eliminated.
© Rod McRiven 2017
Location: The WalledOff Hotel, 182 Caritas Street, Bethlehem, Palestine
Website: The Walledoff Hotel