Banksy’s newest work calls out the poor treatment of refugees, a subject that has been a consistent theme throughout the artist’s recent work.
In October of last year, Banksy announced that his eerie Disney-themed park, Dismaland, would be dismantled and used to build shelters for a refugee camp in Calais, France. In December, the street artist created a new mural – depicting Steve Jobs, son of a Syrian migrant – on the wall of the same Calais camp.
Banksy’s latest piece appeared in London near the French embassy: a stencil of the iconic poster girl from Les Misérables, shown with tears streaming down her face and a can of CS gas below her. The image refers to the events of January 5 and 6 when French authorities attempted to clear an area of the camp using tear gas, rubber bullets and concussion grenades.
The new mural also features a Banksy first: a QR code that allows passersby to interact with the piece. Scanning the code leads to a YouTube video of footage from the police raid on the camp. The 7-minute clip clearly proves that tear gas was used, though police spokespeople have denied it.