Banksy, Steve Jobs, the son of a migrant from Syria. Image courtesy of Banksy
LONDON- The recent political rhetoric that refuges be refused entry into the United States has continued to generate so much controversies across the globe. Topping the issue of refuges is Donald Trump’s recent pronouncement that Muslims should be ban from entering the United States. For many people, Trump’s comments not only encapsulate his passionate denouncement of immigrants, they also elevate what many have called ‘hateful rhetoric.’
Across the globe, Trump’s anti-immigrant postulation that cumulated in his forceful denouncement of Muslims, has been widely criticized by people in the United States and across the globe. While some have called Trump a bigot, others have described him as a racist and extremist. Of course, Trump has his own supports as well. Many of Trump’s supporters see him as the only man who can protect the United States from immigrants, Muslims as well as save the white race from extinction.
As the praise and condemnation continues to grow, many people are focused on highlighting the contributions of immigrant and Muslims to the growth of the United States and Western societies. Banks, the British street artist and muralist recently joined the effort to illuminate the contributions of refugees to Western societies. In some of his recent images, Banksy explores the image of one of the world’s celebrated geniuses Steve Jobs to accentuate his point. Steve Jobs is the son of Syrian migrants to the United States. His father moved to the United States after the Second World War.
In Calais, the French port city where thousands of newly arrived Syrian refugees are living in absolute squalor, is a new collection of graffiti by Banksy. At the center of the new artwork titled Jungle is the image of Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple. He has a black bin bag thrown over one shoulder and an original Apple computer in another hand.
Banksy uses the Steve Jobs image to highlight the present refugee crisis. The artwork which appears near tents that are home to the camp’s refugees and migrants references Steve Jobs background as the son of a Syrian migrant, who arrived in America after the second world war. Dressed in his trademark blue jeans, black polo neck sweater, and round glasses, Steve Jobs is cleverly inserted into the global refugee discourse exemplified by the Calais refugee camp.
The inclusion of Steve Jobs in this new Banksy graffiti is very poignant. Banksy Steve Jobs draws attention to the benefit of migration. Steve Jobs success and his position as one of most creative people that brought America to the forefront of technology in the world is well articulated by Banksy:
We’re often led to believe migration is a drain on the country’s resources but Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant. Apple is the world’s most profitable company, it pays over $7bn (£4.6bn) a year in taxes – and it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs.
Of late, Banksy has focused his new works on addressing the plight of recent refugees and the refugee crisis. In Calais, the graffiti artists has created graffiti on many walls across the French port that has become the epicenter of the Syrian refuges. Some recent artworks by Banksy include one inspired by Theodore Gericault’s famous Raft of the Medusa. In the piece, Syrian refugees wave at a luxury yacht.
Banksy rendition of Apple founder Steve Jobs, whose father migrated from Syria to America on the wall of a refugee camp exemplifies the contribution of refugees to the American society. Located right at Calais which has become home to many Syrian refugees in France, Banksy, through the this new artwork, clearly expressing his disdain for the negative treatment of the refugees and hateful comment by politicians like Donald Trump. As Banksy clearly notes in another graffiti on the wall of the Calais refugee camp, “Nobody deserves to live like this.”