Banksy’s latest work on Brexit: a déjà vu

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Banksy, this time you have to explain it to us. Not so much for the meaning of your last job, an instant intuition and banal effect. Not wanting to unleash the anger of the extremist followers of the Bristol artist who is dogmatic and can never be named, the last work done at Dover is a mix of thinks already seen, which adds nothing to the artistic overview. Or rather, without going to compare what has already been created, isolating and shrinking from what surrounds us, the work does not scratch, it does not leave its mark, does not penetrate deeply by reflecting it, slapping the observer with the his typical crude and insolent criticism.

Sunday 7th of May, a giant mural appeared on the wall of a Dover palace, a city on the south coast of England. A worker, the greatest expression of the British working class, is about to take away from the flag of the European Union one of the twelve stars symbols of the various members. The originality of the work, which is a clear reference to Brexit, lies in the place where it was built: it is not far from the port of Dover, from which ferries usually leave connecting the United Kingdom with France and Europe. Another stretch, that we strive to say is appreciable, is the huge crack that just from the work stroke propagates across the flag to signal the danger of an almost irreversible crush.

But the crack in the wall or star that falls or disappears from the flag is a concept already trampled on and faced several times before. During the Nuart 2014 festival, the Portuguese artist MaisMenos interpreted the blue flag in its own way, commenting on the position of Norway in relation to the accession to the Union itself. The “R” of Norway, which is discolored leaves space for the sentence “No Way,” a drastic decision not to join the EU. It is possible to notice a star outside the circle above the chimney.

The blue flag of the European Union has also been used in other different contexts, but with equally significant impact. About immigration or about the policy of welcoming and the many victims of shipwreck trying to across the Mediterranean Sea to look for a new life. Banksy himself, along with his team, had made a hard and emotional job with twelve Bodies of migrants floating in the water.

In 2012 in Morocco, however, the Italian artist Blu made an equally provocative work, taking on a slogan so dear to the extremes of certain European xenophobic parties that penned the closure of borders and the rise of the barricades. The European Union flag, in this context, is a huge barbed wire with twelve stars replaced by so many spines that hold a multitude of men, women and children outside the circle.

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