The elusive British graffiti artist Banksy, known for his political and social commentary, has been active on the streets of Paris this week with new stencil art popping up all over the capital city.
Banksy’s new stencilled graffiti happens to be fifty years since the uprising in Paris 1968, which began with students objecting to reform of the university system, to nearly a million protesters marching through Paris to demand the resignation of President Charles de Gaulle.
In the Sorbonne University area, a mural pays tribute to the May 1968 student uprising. The missing number 8 is placed onto the rats head mimicking Minnie Mouse, and 13 dots are left in its place, referring to 13th May 1968.
The movement produced an explosion of street art and ingenious graffiti slogans to the streets, which Banksy pays homage to Paris stencil artist Blek le Rat.
“Fifty years since the uprising in Paris 1968.The birthplace of modern stencil art,” Banksy
Also at the Sorbonne area is this mural of a man offering a dog a bone after sawing off its leg, a dig at capitalism.
Another ‘pop’ shows us the champagne cork escalating the rat up the ladder…
Rats are certainly a theme for Banksy and the Paris art works are influenced by this and echo the work of Blek le Rat duing the uprising. Here we see two rats, dressed in looking at the famous Eiffel tower…
A powerful mural shows a young black girl standing next to her outdoor bed spray-painting pink wallpaper in Banksy’s 2009 design “go flock yourself” over a swastika.
The mural can be found next to an official refugee shelter which was controversially closed in March despite protests. Since then thousands of migrants, including children, have been sleeping rough.
Banksy also created a image of girl wearing a mourning veil on a fire exit door next to the Bataclan concert hall, where 90 people were killed by a terror attack in November 2015.
Another image is of a classic portrait of Napoleon on his horse with his face covered in a red robe, this has prompted speculation that it was a protest against the French government’s opposition to Islamic veils in public places.
Or… is it aimed at todays students, who now have their head lost in a phone. During the 1968 uprising they would chant “Egalité! Liberté! Sexualité/ Equality! Freedom! Sexuality”, whereas Banksy writes “Liberté, Egalité, CABLE TV”.
Photo Credit Banksy