Bank Robbery?


Bank Robbery? recreates the act of robbery by wearing motorcycle helmets and spraying “Bank Robbery?” on banks in Beirut. The stencil along with a text were published in Paper Stages by Forest Fringe.

One day, the news in Lebanon read, ‘Two armed men wearing motorcycle helmets walked into the bank at around 1pm on Tuesday. A few minutes later, the robbers made off with over $76,000.” A few weeks earlier, another armed bank robbery took place in Beirut, but did not make it into the headlines. Bank robberies are presented as easy, exciting, successful and fair. In fact, I was one of the people who commented on this week’s robbery with “good on them.” Others have said the blatantly racist “they’re probably immigrants” or more Lebanese-specific comments “no one died so it’s nothing.” Some went for the depressingly true comment “this is the only solution left for us.” Bank robbery, anyone?

400 words of injunction to detourne the unblinking facades of banks, with their app-like colour schemes, their appearance of global facility; their talk of community while implicating us in hegemonic financial systems, sucking money from the localities they squat in.” Exeunt Magazine

Commissioned by Forest Fringe as part of Paper Stages 2012.