Legendary British singer and songwriter Sir Elton John performed via a video message at the opening of Banksy’s new hotel in Palestine, voicing his strong solidarity with Palestinians and their struggle against occupation and daily oppression.
“It’s my great pleasure to be playing in Palestine this evening. Please know that you are not alone. You are not forgotten,” John said to attendees of the hotel opening on Saturday, according to Jerusalem Online.
He explained that he would have loved to have been at the opening in person, but joked that “there wasn’t any room at the inn.”
The mysterious UK street artist opened the new project in the West Bank, next to the infamous separation wall. It’s part hotel, part museum and of course, one big art installation.
Smeared in graffiti, the wall that divides the West Bank from Bethlehem and the Israeli state, has long been the perfect canvas for art challenging apartheid, promoting resistance and calling for peace.
The hotel will offer “floor to ceiling views of graffiti-strewn concrete from almost every room,” according to its website. Many even offer a picturesque view of the Israeli military watchtower.
Beyond including paintings done in Banksy’s signature street art style, each room presents a particular theme or statement. Sami Musa and Dominique Petrin have also helped customize the rooms.
From critiquing colonialism to highlighting the reality of the Israeli military, these rooms will not only provide a place for guests to sleep, but also force them to think about the present reality in Palestine and the historic roots of today’s conflict.