Dove by Banksy
Photo by eddiedangerous
The dove with an olive branch in its mouth is an internationally known symbol for peace but, with a couple additions to its iconography, graffiti artist Banksy was able to totally flip the meaning. With the addition of a bulletproof vest and a gun’s target on the birds chest, the dove can be seen as a representation of the idea of peace being under attack. The dove’s location near the Israeli West Bank Barrier adds to the potency of the message, and was surely placed there by Banksy to encourage peace in the very violent area.
Banksy was aiming to inspire hope in the viewer. The dove represents the idea of peace, and even though it’s bulletproof vest implies it has been under attack in the past, it is still alive and flying. Banksy is telling the people of the West Bank to keep their hope alive, because the idea of peace can never die.
Banksy chose to place his work in the West Bank in order to attract more attention to the location. The area is under constant fire (if you look closer at the top of the image you can see bullet holes on the wall) so the placing of the Dove, and its meaning, is especially relevant to the work. There were many other paintings done in the same area which share the same hope inspiring theme, so if you are interested in them just google “banksy west banks” to see them.