Week Eight: Assignment 2: Controversial Issue

The news source called Global Voices Online did an article on October 13, 2013 over Banksy, a street artist whose identity remains a mystery and street graffiti art work impacts current social issues, making an artistic video a few years ago labeled “Rebel Rocket Attack.” Banksy made that video on October 6, 2013. In the video there are a couple fake Syrian rebels pointing a missile launcher towards the sky. And the voices in the background are yelling phrases while an object in the sky is taken down. Once the object has fallen, the rebels rush towards it, chanting phrases while the video cuts to Disney’s Dumbo, who is critically hurt, and the adult rebels rejoice as Dumbo dies, yet a child who is dressed similarly to the adults enters the shot and looks at Dumbo. The child then kicks one rebel and the video is over. Most people online saw it and were more annoyed, some claiming that the message Banksy was giving was very unclear. Some said the work of art did not tackle the issue far enough and felt either like an attention stunt or ironic, due to Banksy mocking a resistance which started with graffiti art.

The second news source, Washington Post, wrote around the same premise for the video like the GVO, however they did not focus much with what was social media and the public’s view. They as well did not go into great detail with the video, as they omit the child at the end of the video. They also put more of a focus on the West’s approach of the situation without fully disclosing the matter. Washington Post differed from the first because they went on to talk about the Syrian movement and the Obama administration, looking as if they stopped talking about the video as if it was Banksy, and rather tackled the topic at face value. The way that the authors in the second article took on this topic was different than the other one and honestly it did not impact me as much as it should because regardless I understood the overall message of the articles. It does tell us though that certain media outlets will omit parts that may be crucial in the video, or at least what I thought with the child. The second article might have chosen to leave that part out as because if they left it in, the comments would have been different than they already were from both sides, proving that reading from multiple articles over the same topic is better because you might have not gotten all the information from the first source.

I personally think that the video Banksy made was in bad taste. And before, I would not consider this an art piece. Yet through examination, I know that this is as much art as anything else can be. It is not traditional art, yet there are still some principles of art, as shown in the video and the angles in which the shots were produced. And the colors that he chose to shoot in depicted the video to be amateurish and spoof the already made videos from the Syrian rebels. I as well felt like the artist did not do so much for the topic with his video, because the message was not blatantly written, instead interpretable. I agree with the GVO more because they kept more important information over the video, like the child and the many phrases, and chose to write about how the media and public thought about the video which sparked the issue about Banksy’s interpretation of Syrian rebels. I would really combine the two articles because the second one went in depth about the Syrian rebels and the how our government chooses to react to them, which I believe is important. I would have liked to known other artist’s thoughts about the poorly-received video of Banksy’s.



“Syria: Banksy’s Crude Politics · Global Voices.” Global Voices Overall RSS 20. N.p., 13 Oct. 2013. Web. 05 Mar. 2015.

“The Awkward Politics of Banksy’s Satirical Syria Video.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2015.


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