Palestinian artist banned from Banksy's Dismaland after anti-Israel protest


A Palestinian artist has been thrown out of graffiti artist Banksy’s Dismaland theme park following an anti-Israel protest.

Shadi Alzaqzouq, 34, covered his artwork in a bed sheet with “R.I.P Gaza: Boycott Israel,” written on it, and laid down in front of the display after discovering that the dystopian theme park in Weston-Super-Mare was featuring Israeli artists.

He told the al-Araby website: “I found out when arrived at the show that three Israeli artists were taking part, one of whom served in the IDF,” Alzaqzouq said.

“I decided I had to protest in some way so I went and got a bed sheet from my hotel room and wrote ‘R.I.P Gaza: Boycott Israel’ on it in coal and hung it over my artwork and laid down like a corpse in front of my two paintings on display.”

Security guards were ordered to remove the Palestinian artitst, who was told that his protest was too “ugly” for the park.

Alzaqzouq had two paintings on display.

“After Washing #3″ shows a woman holding up male underwear with the Arabic word for “leave” written on the front — the word chanted by anti-dictator protesters during Arab Spring protests.

The second piece, “Rock Me All Night Long,” shows children throwing coloured rocks and shoes with ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in the background depicted as the Joker from Batman.

Alongside 58 other artists - including Banksy himself - there are three Israelis with art on display: Amir Schiby, Ronit Baranga and Neta Harari Navon.

Ms Harari Navon she was delighted to have been invited to take part in the project and confessed that she had not met Banksy, who keeps his identity a closely guarded secret.

Her piece depicts the 2006 evacuation of Amona – an Israeli settlement between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Ms Baranga, a sculptor who works in clay, has contributed a surreal vision of tableware.

Mr Schiby's work marks the four Palestinian boys killed on a beach during last summer's Gaza conflict.

Also taking part are three Palestinian artists, including Sami Musa who offers miniature versions of what he calls “Israeli symbols of occupation".

Banksy has visited Israel and the Palestinian territories several times. He painted murals on the walls of ruined buildings in Gaza after the 2014 conflict.

Dismaland, which has been labelled “the UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction”, is situated in the derelict Tropicana lido in the coastal town.

Banksy has described it as “a festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism”.

He added: “I guess you’d say it’s a theme park whose big theme is theme parks should have bigger themes,” said Banksy.

The works on show include an installation by Damien Hirst, and a Punch and Judy puppet show by writer and JC columnist Julie Burchill.

The Dismaland website crashed earlier this week as overwhelming numbers attempted to buy tickets.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive