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  • Ashley Annakie

LEAP #1. Critical Analysis of Propaganda



Deforestation may not be something we thing about affecting us, but it's toll is larger than we think. Deforestation accounts for 18% of all global greenhouse gas emissions, more than transportation. As well, deforestation is responsible for the loss of habitat for many animals, forcing them to extinction and relocation.


Banksy is an anonymous English street artist, although many would call him a vandal. He's a political activist that has crafted satirical work that combines his medium with a dark message. His pieces appear at random and around many cities across the world. Banksy himself is believed(but this can be false) to be born around '74-76 due to an interview in 2003 with the Guardian, "Bansky is white, 28, scruffy casual - jeans, T-shirt, a silver tooth, silver chain and silver earring. He looks like a cross between Jimmy Nail and Mike Skinner of the Streets" Never photographed or caught, he's maintained his anonymity this entire time. Starting his artistry at the age of 14, he was in and out of prison for petty crimes such as vandalism. Banksy is believed to be one of three people. Robin Gunningham, Roberr Del Naja(3D of Massive Attack) or Jamie Hewlett(Gorillaz). All three have similar histories, upbringings and patterns to Banksy. He's gained notoriety since starting in the early 2000 with many celebrities buying his pieces.


Another relevant environmental piece

His themes frequently are categorized as revenge or guerrilla warfare, taking back the power, territory or glory from the opposer. He's extremely anti-war, consumerism, nihilism, and exisentatialism. To me, he makes people second guess what's around them and how they value things. His vandalistic ways incorporate the environment and angles into its perspective. The piece noted above is only able to be seen depending on tides, eventually it will be hidden due to climate change.


Banksy targets various places and people but he emphasizes on the social classes and encouraging them to deconstruct the power around us. "I remember when this was all trees" features a young boy with a deadbeat expression holding a paintbrush. He wrote, I remember when this was all trees. The building that it was written on used to be a Packard automobile plant in Detroit, known for its auto industry. Now it is wasting and crumbling, a concrete jungle not reminiscent of the one the child expects. This touches upon a dying industry in America, less jobs, as well as children growing up surrounded by concrete, without parks nearby. America has had many automobile factories close and shift to over sees as well as major car manufacturers like General Motors to downscale and lay off thousands in the past few years.


Due to the location of the pieces, it's meant to be seen by those in the community who experience this first hand. A piece of artwork placed on such as a condemned building that used to employ members of the community unearths many feelings of strife and hardship. People have thought the sentence to be a metaphor for the jobs that used to be present in Detroit. The trees and roots would symbol the blue collar families that created livelihoods and careers. Many people don't think about the history that a building has when they are in ruins. Even the owners of the Packard Plant came out of hiding once Banksy had vandalized their building. This speaks to the method and strategies that Banksy uses.


The message can be interpreted two different ways. In beginning I acknowledged the environmental aspect the building had on the community. Later on, the political and societal meanings of Banksy's work also were noted once I had researched more on him and his history. His poignant use of location in Detroit and a rotting automobile plant was a message. The owners of the Packard Plant faced backlash over the decrepit state yet they didn't have much option seeing as how the City tried to revive the industrial park and surrounding area, but was unsuccessful . This piece of propaganda is extremely harmful for Regardless of people's views though, it definitely painted a picture of a brighter past for the building.


When browsing through all of the pieces on the Mind Over Media this one really spoke out to me. I really enjoy learning about sustainability and even see it as a career. It's such a sad use of resources to let production plants like Packard to slowly rot and waste away. Only when they are made examples of or articles about major headlines are released do people care. Last year it was released that Ford would stop producing all passenger cars(outside of Mustang) this is cutting out a huge market of the automobile industry and a move like this from such a large company is almost unheard of. This is beneficial to smaller car manufacturers that have a more sustainable approach such as Tesla. It's also slightly positive for the local community because improvements will hopefully hasten due to the image that is crafted due to propaganda.


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