Published: Sat, March 17, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Antoinette Montgomery

Banksy Takes Over Houston Bowery Wall in New York City

Banksy Takes Over Houston Bowery Wall in New York City

Dogan, who is of mixed Turkish and Kurdish descent, was jailed in March previous year for a painting she made depicting the damage done by Turkish armed forces to the predominantly-Kurdish city of Nusaybin.

The anonymous British artist's 70-foot-long mural was unveiled on Thursday, and it protests the imprisonment of the Turkish artist and journalist Zehra Dogan, who was sentenced last March for painting the destruction of a Turkish town, with the country's flag flying over rubble.

Shortly after she was initially detained in July 2016, the International Federation of Journalists urged the Turkish government to release Dogan - as well as 90 other journalists presently behind bars. After she uploaded the painting on social media, Doğan was arrested and sentenced to two years and nine months in prison.

Banksy's work joins the chorus of worldwide voices calling on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to stop imprisoning Turkish writers, journalists and intellectuals, which has been ongoing since the failed 2016 coup.

The mural consist of black marks, representing prison bars and serve as a marker for the number of days that Dogan has spent imprisoned. The art is based on an actual photo taken and distributed by the Turkish military, and yet the artist was sentenced by the Second High Criminal Court of Mardin province.

"I really feel for her", Banksy told The New York Times in a statement. At the bottom of the mural, the artists have written, "Free Zehra Doğan" in all caps. However, they [Turkish government] caused this.

She copied the photo from a newspaper then painted it in watercolor, adding Turkish flags to the scene, according to her publicist. "I just painted it", Dogan is quoted as saying on her personal website.

Banksy's protest mural of her imprisonment was a collaboration with another mysterious graffiti artist, Borf, who also faced jail time for his art.

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