Banksy’s iconic artwork recreated in support of an ATT

July 13 2012, 2:18 AM  by Rosie Cowling

A news photographer who has seen first-hand the devastating effect of armed violence has recreated two of graffiti artist Banksy’s iconic work in support of Control Arms coalitions’ work on campaigning for an ATT as leaders from 193 countries negotiate the possible treaty not at the UN.

Photographer Nick Stern has highlighted two issues that need addressing in ATT negotiations by recreating two of Banksy’s most famous pieces of street grafitti.

The first photo depicts a scene from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, with Samuel L Jackson and John Travolta lookalikes clutching bananas instead of guns. Sprayed on a wall near Old Street Tube in East London, the original was one of the most famous graffiti paintings by the artist and estimated to be worth more than £300,000 when it was painted over by Transport for London.


The second is of a child soldier that appeared on a shop in the US, in Westwood, LA. Both have come back to life to illustrate the shocking facts there are more regulations on the banana trade than the gun trade and there are around 300,000 child soldiers.


Mr Stern, who splits his time between London and LA, said: “As a photographer I’ve seen the misery armed conflict causes, in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. I wholeheartedly support a treaty that can save thousands from the horrors of armed violence and conflict.

“In recent years we’ve seen thousands of news images of more and more women, children and civilians whose lives have been ended or ripped apart by armed conflict.

“War is no longer the preserve of well trained, tactical military personnel, it has spread into every area of society. The people taking up arms are farmers, engineers, builders and students, and lives are being blighted or ended.

“The ease at which ordinary people can obtain weapons is adding to this misery. This Arms Trade Treaty can make a real difference, it’s not the politics or the economics that’s important, it’s the lives of thousands of people each day that matter.”

Anna Macdonald, Oxfam’s Head of Arms Control, said: “The unregulated international arms trade is a dangerous business, and for too long the steady flow of arms around the world has been largely ignored. The irresponsible arms trade fuels serious human rights abuses, armed violence, poverty and conflict around the world. This could change with a comprehensive, robust treaty, a bulletproof Arms Trade Treaty.”

Macdonald added, “A robust Arms Trade Treaty would turn off the tap. It would place stronger controls on the international movement of all arms and ammunition. This will help stop the flow of arms and ammunition into communities in conflict already awash with weapons, and give people a fighting chance of retaking their communities from the claws of violence and fear.”

Blog syndicated from Oxfam GB