Banksy Sends Inflatable Migrant Raft Into Glastonbury Crowd


On Friday, performance artist Marina Abramović successfully led the crowd at Glastonbury, a British music festival that attracts more than 200,000 people regularly, in seven minutes of silence, a gesture meant to mark a “dark moment in human history.” Then, later that night, another artist staged a surprise stunt there: Banksy, whose is better known for murals and graffiti-like works that have appeared on city street.


At Glastonbury, Banksy sent an inflatable raft into the crowd during a set by the British band Idles. Per the Guardian, which first reported news of the raft, the band was not aware of Banksy’s stunt until it happened.


Banksy’s latest was an inflatable raft meant to mimic the kind typically used by migrants to cross oceans. In the raft were a grouping of dummies meant to mimic those very migrants.


The raft reportedly made an appearance during the song “Danny Nedelko,” which explicitly deals with immigration and includes lyrics such as: “Fear leads to panic, panic leads to pain / Pain leads to anger, anger leads to hate.”


Banksy typically confirms authorship of his works on his Instagram, and has not yet done so for this work. The Guardian report attributed confirmation to a representative for Idles.


The anonymous artist has in the past made art about immigration, at one point even emblazoning a ship used to transport rescued refugees with one of his signature images, a girl reaching upward toward a balloon, this one resembling a heart-shaped life float.


His latest work comes as UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak continues to face scrutiny over his immigration policy. Through one particularly controversial law, Sunak’s government plans to deport asylum seekers who arrive in the UK illegally to Rwanda, which some Conservative politicians in England view as a safe destination.

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