Banksy drops a bomb on the ‘most polluted town in the UK’ with a new work that cuts to the heart of the issue. Banksy dropped the new two-sided creation on the world in an Instagram post that shows a child simply enjoying life, caught up in the sheer joy of a flurry of snowflakes. Playful holiday music paints an image of a holiday scene, with a child singing, “little snowflake, falling from the sky.”
As the shot rolls on, the camera banks around the corner, revealing a burning dumpster that turns out to be the source of what we now see is not snowflakes, but ash, carried over to the child in a plume of smoke. That’s interesting, but banksy really drops the mic with a drone shot that pans up from his creation, revealing a neighborhood and just behind it, a mass of industrial equipment and smokestacks.
The parallel between the two is too much to bear, especially after knowing that the scene takes place in what is actually the most polluted area in the UK according to the World Health Organization: the Taibach region in South Wales in the UK.
The new work cuts through the political agendas, the finances, and the legalism that often clutter the issue and exposes the ugly truth. Urban pollution harms the most vulnerable. Our children, our people, and our cities are being harmed by pollution day in and day out. This is dramatically on display in the Taibach area, where industrial smokestacks spew exhaust immediately behind rows of residential housing.
We should not be ok with this and we can do better. We have the solutions to solve climate change today, but it requires action to solve. Inaction simply accepts what we have today and will inevitably result in our children inheriting a planet that’s worse off than the one we have today.
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