Part of the MA seminar ‘Language & Art’.
This talk offers a critical semiotic analysis of the media discourses about Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem. Unlike the existing burgeoning scholarship on this tourist initiative, this talk focuses less on the space of the hotel itself and the street art therein than on their mediatization. With the help of the notion of mediatization, this talk offers a granular account of the discursive circulation of Banksy’s street art assemblage, with the concomitant processes of social value formation as well as the ambivalent array of moral and affective components involved in such valorization. The mediatization of Banksy’s street art in Palestine interpellates visitors by affectively and morally enticing them to have a first-hand experience of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, namely consuming its mediatized object par excellence, the graffitied wall and/or its reproduction. Less enthusiastic uptakes instead take issue with the affective logic upon which such mediatization seems to be built.
Affect; Banksy; mediatization; morality; street art