Banksy’s year-old project in Bethlehem, The Walled Off Hotel , has just released a new set of souvenirs exclusively available in the hotel shop. The series of works, which are each hand painted by local artists, depict the West Bank barrier in a crumbling state. A hooded figure is featured beside the wall in several of the works—either contributing a fresh piece of graffiti or physically breaking through the wall with mallet in hand. Banksy views these works as anticipatory objects, pieces that might accurately depict the wall’s end.
The gift shop is situated towards the back of the hotel and sells items created exclusively for the Walled Off by Banksy. It should not be confused with the ‘Banksy Shop’ next door – which has nothing to do with Banksy at all. All profits from sales go towards sustaining the hotel and social projects. Select items are available worldwide on mail order.
Just in case you weren’t sure what Banksy thinks about the wall (not a fan) his latest range of ‘souvenir collectables’ anticipate the day the concrete menace has been defeated and feral youth scribble on its skeletal remains. For those of you concerned that making glorified tourist tat from military oppression is ethically dubious – there is at least the solace that each wall is lovingly hand painted by craftspeople in the local area.
The hotel also released a new album during last week’s Palestine Music Expo, featuring international musicians such as Brian Eno, The Black Madonna, Trio Joubran, Roisin Murphy, and Akram Abdulfattah. The work was produced by Block9 during a “Creative Retreat” at the hotel this past February, and includes seven collaborative songs inspired by Palestine’s history. The Walled Off Hotel Creative Retreat Album is now available for free on Soundcloud.