Banksy Weighs in on Refugee Crisis

Convershaken Staff
January 4, 2016

Street artist Banksy has waded into the worldwide debate on asylum seekers with a mural of Steve Jobs, whose Syrian-born father entered the US as a political refugee after protests in Lebanon - where he attended university - forced him to flee. 

The Apple founder is shown wearing his signature black turtleneck, Levi jeans and New Balance sneakers. He's carrying an early Apple computer in one hand and has a black bag, presumably containing his possessions, slung over his shoulder.

"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," Banksy said in a public statement. "Apple is the world's most profitable company, it pays over $7bn (£4.6bn) a year in taxes - and it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs."

Banksy painted the image on a concrete bridge in The Jungle, a former landfill near the French port town of Calais that currently houses more than 7,000 migrants. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that nearly 60 million people worldwide were forced to leave their homes by the end of 2014, and pointed to the ongoing war in Syria as the largest driver of displacement.

Of course, very few migrants and refugees will go on to become the next Steve Jobs or Albert Einstein. Wired argues that Banksy is missing the point: countries should show compassion and welcome refugees because they're suffering and in need, not because they might change the world.