Banksy Mural Taps Steve Jobs’s Syrian Heritage to Bring Attention to Refugees in France

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English graffiti artist and activist Banksy painted a mural in France using Steve Jobs's image to highlight the plight of refugees in Calais's so-called "Jungle" refugee camp. The mural was painted on the walls of a concrete bridge running through the camp, which is dominated by Syrians fleeing the war in that country.

Banksy Mural of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Mural by Banksy
Photo credit: Banksy's website

Mr. Jobs, the biological son of a Syrian immigrant, is featured in the mural with a Mac in one hand and a bag of possessions over his other shoulder. The Jungle is where many Syrians and other refugees have gathered as they try to illegally reach England. Their presence, coupled with the terrorist attacks in Paris last month, has ignited anti-immigration attitudes in Europe and the U.S. alike.

Banksy Mural with Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Mural by Banksy
Photo credit: Banksy's website

Banksy's message‚ which came with a rare statement issued to the BBC, is to promote the benefits of immigration. That statement:

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.

In the image below are graffiti messages that are, according to the BBC, technically unrelated to Banksy's mural.

Banksy Mural with Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Mural by Banksy
Photo credit: Banksy's website

A closeup of Steve Jobs's fact currently adorns the landing page of Banksy's site. The artist painted other murals while at the camp, and those images are included in the gallery focusing on the mural of Mr. Jobs.

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Very nice. It makes a good point: Immigration is almost always a good thing in the long run. Banksy is one of the top artists of this era. You know for a long time I was ambivalent because he works in a form that’s criticized as vandalism and by its nature temporary. But I’ve come to respect his work as being on a par with any of the last centuries greats, and far better and more significant than some. As far as being temporary, as long as there’s photographs, they’ll live on.

That said there is one other point I want to make.

I’m just enough of a geek to notice.

And enough of a git to point it out.

That’s an original Macintosh.

You’re holding it wrong.

(I’m sorry)


You’re not alone, geoduck. I noticed it right away too.

On Banksy: does he paint in water-soluble paint? Is that what makes his art temporary?


No I was more referring to it being a type of graffiti art. It isn’t held in a gallery. It isn’t protected from vandalism. The building owner could decide to paint over it or tear the structure down. There is no pretence about it lasting as long as a Matisse or a Da Vinci.

Bryan Chaffin

Geoduck, I hadn’t noticed that!

Related: your delivery and setup was awesome. smile

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