The Son of a Migrant From Syria
Location: The Jungle, Calais, France
The Son of a Migrant from Syria appeared on December 2015 in the “Jungle”, a nickname for the encampment near Calais, France, where migrants lived as they attempted to enter the United Kingdom. The artwork portrays Steve Jobs, the late co-founder and former CEO of Apple, as a traveling migrant.
The Refugees crisis is one theme dear to Banksy, addressed through several powerful murals realized in Calais, notably in a refugee camp also known as the “Jungle”, where around 7,000 migrants and refugees had to set their temporary home, the majority originally from Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea.
The Son of a Migrant From Syria, maybe one of the most powerful murals of the series, features the late Steve Jobs, carrying an early Apple computer among other possessions. Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant, and arrived in America after World War II. Some graffiti located next to the visual states: “Nobody deserves to live this way!”
Banksy added on his Instagram
“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 $7 billion a year in taxes. And it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs.”
Using Steve Jobs as a representation of Syrian migrants became popular after a tweet in September 2015 by David Galbraith, a technology professional, included a photograph of Jobs with the caption “A Syrian migrants’ child.” Jobs’ depiction is derived from a 2006 photograph taken by Albert Watson which was later used on the cover of Walter Isaacson‘s biography of Steve Jobs.
Additional murals and messages have been painted in the camp and the city center of Calais. The others pieces are showing a stenciled young girl and her telescope, a text piece which reads “Maybe This Whole Situation Will Sort Itself Out” and a piece showing a refugee raft inspired from the “The Raft of the Medusa” by Géricault and dubbed “Maybe We Are Not All In The Same Boat”.
This is the first ever time Banksy paints in France.