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The Mild Mild West,1999


The Mild Mild West

The Mild Mild West

Year: 1999
Location: Stokes Croft, Bristol, England
The Mild Mild West is one of the earliest Banksy murals, located in the artist’s hometown of Bristol. Indeed, the inscription of “The Mild Mild West” also refers to Bristol’s location in Western England.
It portrays a teddy bear throwing a Molotov cocktail at the police. Banksy drew the artwork over three days in broad daylight in 1999. It was drawn in response to various unlicensed parties and rave held in abandoned warehouses around Bristol in the 1990s, that drew increased attention from the police. A specific trigger for the mural was such an event at Winterstoke Road, where riot police began to attack partygoers.
The artwork is popular with the local community who consider it a good symbol of the heritage around Stokes Croft. It has been cited as an archetypal piece of Bristol culture, showing how a relaxed hippie can still fight back against the government and more widely against authority and power, even capitalism and consumerism. In April 2009, the mural was vandalized with red paint by an anti-graffiti organization called Appropriate Media, but was quickly repaired. Bristol City Council announced plans to enclose the mural in glass in front of new flats, which was criticized by the local community because it would make it harder to see from the street

The Mild Mild West Bristol

A teddy bear throwing a Molotov cocktail at a riot squad? Insane for some, but perfectly in-line with Banksy‘s signature style creating striking visuals and situations to provoke the viewer. How could it be that a gentle and friendly teddy bear would become so violent against the police. Obviously, the situation is never what it seems to be…