Photos Of BSA 2021: #7: Re-Worked Banksy Says “Stop Asian Hate”

We’re celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of the next by thanking BSA Readers, Friends, and Family for your support in 2021. We have selected some of our favorite shots from the year by our Editor of Photography, Jaime Rojo, and are sharing a new one every day to celebrate all our good times together, our hope for the future, and our love for the street.

Dreadful to see Banksy’s modern classic girl with the red balloon re-treaded time and again. Conversely, he’s created an ample street meme that is ripe for re-interpreting.

A traditionally red sky lantern (or Kǒngmíng lantern or Chinese lantern) stands in for the balloon here – a symbol of good fortune and happiness. You will see these fire-powered lanterns floating into the air above night time crowds at festivals far and wide – including in China, India, Brazil, Thailand, Taiwan, and Japan. Ignorance among some in the US, and particularly in New York, has lead to an anti-Asian sentiment and to hate crimes being committed this year – because of people’s mental associations with China and the Covid-19 epidemic.

During a time of increased fear and lowered economic prospects it is not unusual for xenophobia to rise. Even so, we all expect better of each other. We’re pretty confident that Banksy would not mind his original piece to be repurposed to #StopAsianHate.

Adrian Wilson for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Bowery, Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)