arts

Banksy shares new artwork supporting Black Lives Matter and says it's on white people to fix systemic racism

Published 8th June 2020
Banksy shares new artwork supporting Black Lives Matter and says it's on white people to fix systemic racism
Written by Elizabeth Wells, CNNAlicia Lee, CNN
Banksy, perhaps the best-known anonymous artist and social critic in the world, is showing his support for the Black Lives Matter movement with a new piece of art and a stark message: "People of Colour are being failed by the system."
Black Lives Matter protests have spread across the globe for the past two weeks following the death of George Floyd, a black man killed in police custody in the US on May 25. Banksy's latest work, unveiled in an Instagram post, depicts how Floyd's death has shaken the United States.
The piece is composed of a framed black figure with a candle and flowers surrounding it. An American flag hanging overhead has been lit on fire by the candle beneath.
A detail from Banksy's new artwork.
A detail from Banksy's new artwork. Credit: Banksy/From Instagram
Along with the artwork, Banksy made his thoughts on systemic racism crystal clear.
"At first I thought I should just shut up and listen to black people about this issue. But why would I do that? It's not their problem. It's mine," Banksy wrote on his Instagram post, which has garnered over 2 million likes.
"People of colour are being failed by the system. The white system. Like a broken pipe flooding the apartment of the people living downstairs. The faulty system is making their life a misery, but it's not their job to fix it. They can't, no one will let them in the apartment upstairs.
"This is a white problem. And if white people don't fix it, someone will have to come upstairs and kick the door in," the artist added.
The artwork was posted to Banksy's Instagram account.
The artwork was posted to Banksy's Instagram account. Credit: Banksy/Instagram
A Black Lives Matter protest took over the streets of Bristol, England, on Sunday near where Banksy is presumed to have been born. Local police estimated that 10,000 protesters participated.
During the protest, demonstrators pulled down a statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston. Protesters cheered and celebrated at the sight of the bronze statue being brought down, but police say an investigation has been launched to identify those involved.
CNN's Max Foster and Nada Bashir contributed to this report.