British artist Banksy, who is working for a month in New York City, has left the streets of the Big Apple to launch a new art project online.
Entitled “Rebel rocket attack,” Banksy’s video shows actors playing non-descript armed militants shooting down a distant target that turns out is not a plane nor a helicopter.
Instead, it is Dumbo the elephant, a Disney character famous for using his comically large ears to fly, who crashes near the militants. What happens next involves the dying elephant, a militant and a very angry child.
Banksy first posted a teaser of the video on his Instagram:
The whole video then was embedded on a website associated with the artist and can be viewed here:
Shot with a hand-held camera, the shaky, glitchy footage lampoons the type of user-generated videos uploaded from war zones to the Internet by militant groups eager to publicise their bellicose achievements.
Banksy’s project can be seen as a reflection on various topics, from the loss of innocence of children caught in conflicts (there are hundreds of thousands of school-aged Syrians in refugee camps in the region), to the Western media’s voracious consumption of similar, but real, videos of people fighting and dying.
To further this digital mise en abyme, social media news agency Storyful’s team has noted that the soundtrack of the Banksy’s video, with ubiquitous “Allah Akbar” screams, comes from a real video uploaded on February 25, 2013.
Storyful identified the video as posted by a “YouTube account in the name of the Military Council of Aleppo, a channel presenting itself as associated with the Free Syrian Army”.
Watch the video here: