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Banksy Moves Santa’s Ghetto To The West Bank

Banksy Moves Santa’s Ghetto To The West Bank
Arts & Culture
Amanda Gore (PSFK London)
  • 5 december 2007

Anyone looking forward to Santa’s Ghetto this year (the annual supermarket-art show created by Banksy and selling the works of fellow graffiti artists) may have to travel a little bit further than Oxford Street. Actually a lot further- to Bethlehem! The artists have set up shop in a former chicken shop on Manger Square in Bethlehem opposite the Church of the Nativity, and along the way have used the dividing West Bank security wall as an 8 meter high blank canvas which they have decorated with highly symbolical and provocative images.

The website explains further:

‘The ghetto extends over three floors and incorporates the work of more than 30 artists. Among them Souleiman Mansour, Abed al Rohan Mousain, Sam 3, Ron English and Sir Peter Blake. Artists from Ramallah, Gaza and Bethlehem’s Dehaisha refugee camp are well represented. Others have come from as far afield as Washington DC, Madrid and East Sussex.

We would like to make it very clear Santa’s Ghetto is not allied to ANY race, creed, religion, political organization or lobby group. As an organisation the only thing we’ll say on behalf of our artists is that we don’t speak on behalf of our artists. This show simply offers the ink-stained hand of friendship to ordinary people in an extraordinary situation.

Every shekel made in the store will be used on local projects for children and young people. Not one cent will go to any political groups, governmental institutions or, in fact, any grown-ups at all.’

News channels Sky News and BBC News 24 have both picked up on the story and posted videos on YouTube, BBC even managing to get a phone interview with the elusive Banksy who says of the idea “It’s the world’s largest blank canvas and my hope is that with a few cans of spraypaint we can turn it into the world’s largest piece of art but more importantly the world’s most short-lived”

watch the videos here and here or find out more at santasghetto.com

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