Banksy Napalm is based on the famous photograph taken by Nick Ut during the war between Vietnam and the US. In the picture, there’s a young Vietnamese girl, named Kim Phuc, crying and running away from her town after a napalm bomb attack. Her body was severely burned, leading doctors to believe she would not make it. After several surgeries and transplants, Phuc made a miraculous recovery and is still alive to this day.
Next to the naked girl are two iconic figures of American culture, Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald. They are both holding Phuc’s hands. For a lot of people, these two characters give them a pleasant feeling of nostalgia. Putting these smiling icons next to Phuc, who is screaming in agony, causes a very disturbing image. Banksy is challenging us to reflect on how we perceive America. To some it is regarded as a great nation, to others, it is the nation that caused them a lot of pain and suffering.
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