Banksy Analysis


In this assignment, each student will be responsible for conducting a cultural analysis on a work done by graffiti artist and political activist, Banksy. Each student will be responsible for selecting a work by Banksy and answering the following questions using a cultural anthropological lens. 

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Art Selection:

Each student is responsible for picking a Banksy work to apply a cultural analysis.  Below I have identified five potential selections.  Each student can pick one of the selected or identify another work of their choosing by Banksy to analyze.  Each student should only choose one example of Banksy art to answer all the questions below.

Examples of potential works to use for this assignment include:

A stencil of Charles Mason in a prison suit, hitchhiking to anywhere: (Links to an external site.)
Love is in the air: (Links to an external site.)
The son of a migrant from Syria: (Links to an external site.)
Shop until you drop: (Links to an external site.)
Napalm (2004):;_ylt=Awr9J.khUw9gvsAAkxfrFAx.;_ylu=Y29sbwNncTEEcG9zAzEEdnRpZAMEc2VjA3BpdnM-?p=Napalm+Banksy&fr2=piv-web&fr=mcafee#id=1& (Links to an external site.)
The Raft of the Medusa: (Links to an external site.)
Analysis Questions:

After selecting and analyzing your Banksy work, answer the following questions:

What different cultural references/symbols has Banksy represented in his art piece. List each one and describe what each cultural reference means and/or represents?

When the two or three different cultural references/symbols you outlined above are put together, what message do you think Banksy is saying?

Identify the location for this piece of Banksy graffiti. What is the significance of location Banksy chose to produce this piece of art?  How does the chosen location add meaning and significance to his message?

Describe the cultural context of the issue(s) Banksy’s work is addressing and is in response to? What makes Banksy’s artistic response to these issues so effective and powerful?

Research and describe what was the public’s response to Banksy’s art piece? How did his artwork change or bring new understanding to the public dialogue about the particular cultural issue the art is in reference to.

The paper will be marked on the quality and insightfulness of the observations, research and conclusions and whether the writer was able to incorporate lessons learned in class and in the textbook to their analysis of the work’s impact and meaning.

Kindly include citations to any books, articles or webpages used for your research at the end of your assignment.

Marking Rubric:

Each question will be graded accordingly:

1 mark = Writing (clear, concise language.  Well laid-out argument)

1mark = Description (detailed description and observations, devoid of ethnocentrisms)

1mark= Analysis (insightful, thought-provoking conclusions that are supported by the observations recorded)

Total: 15 marks. For more information on Banksy Analysis see this:

Banksy Analysis

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