In the middle of the whirlwind of controversy and negativity surrounding the global conversation on the refugee crisis, Banksy has decided to put out a clear and powerful message into the world.
The world-renowned graffiti artist created an artwork on a wall in a refugee camp called "The Jungle" in France's Calais, which depicts Apple's founder Steve Jobs carrying a black garbage bag over his shoulder and holding an Apple computer in his hand.
Keen to make his message even clearer, Banksy released a statement with the work that said: "We’re often led to believe migration is a drain on the country’s resources but Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant. Apple is the world’s most profitable company, it pays over $7bn (£4.6bn) a year in taxes – and it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs.”
The French authorities have expressed their admiration of the artwork and have announced Sunday that they will protect it, along with two other Banksy works in Calais, according to Reuters . They said that shield glass or transparent plastic panels would be installed to preserve them.
It is not the first time that the British artist has addressed the refugee crisis in his work, as it was a notable part of his smash-hit "bemusement park" project Dismaland last summer, Banksy has also used the dismantled pieces of the park's buildings to build houses for refugees in Calais.
However, his latest work might be his boldest statement yet on the topic, Banksy's Steve Jobs graffiti has come at the perfect time, a time when the world is in need of influential figures like him to give voice to the often voiceless refugees.
Not only has he made it clear that Jobs, one of the most respected and admired figures in our collective culture, was the son of an Arab immigrant, but he has also given hope to millions of refugees and immigrants out there who are constantly battling the misfortunes of despair and prejudice.