“If we wash our hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, we side with the powerful – we don’t remain neutral.”
Brazilian philosopher and critical theorist Paulo Frieire said it first. Banksy, the anonmyous English graffiti artist, scrawled it on a wall in the Gaza Strip.
Last February, Banksy used underground tunnels to sneak into the Gaza Strip and, in his usual form, stealthily painted artworks on cracked walls and the remains of homes destroyed during Israel’s latest military offensive. He published a video highlighting Israel’s brutal treatment of the occupied territory, sarcastically urging viewers to make Gaza their next tourist destination.
Building on Banksy’s video, a parkour team of Palestinian youth take you on their own tour of Gaza. With Shadia Mansour’s hit “Al Kufiyyeh ‘Arabeyyeh” playing in the background, the team tumbles and flips through the besieged territory, pointing out facts on the staggering unemployment rates and inviting you to break bread — even when there’s little to go around.
In one scene, Israeli drone strikes send plumes of fire and smoke into the air. Without batting an eye, the boys keep flipping.
Banksy’s trip to the Gaza Strip isn’t his first time in Palestine. In 2005, he painted nine pieces along Israel’s apartheid wall.
Like virtually all of Gaza’s population, the parkour team remains in Gaza, unable to travel anywhere else.