“I like to think I have the guts to stand up anonymously in a western democracy and call for things no-one else believes in - like peace and justice and freedom.”- BANKSY
The Wizard of Oz is a story that is known around the world and to people of all ages. The protagonist, a young girl named Dorothy, represents an archetypal truth-seeker who travels in search of someplace better. Like in The Wizard of Oz, the print Stop and Search depicts Dorothy and Toto being prevented from getting home.
In England and Wales, stop and search is the power given to police to search an individual or vehicle if they have "reasonable grounds" to suspect the person is carrying illegal drugs, a weapon, stolen property, or something which could be used to commit a crime, such as a crowbar. Opponents say that stop and searches unfairly target people from ethnic minorities. Although STOP AND SEARCH was created in 2007, it is still a very relevent piece, as the use stop and search rose by 24% in 2021.
In the print, Dorothy looks especially naive which accentuates the absurdity of the search itself. Dorothy is a character representing innocence and freedom, and yet even she is not free from the menacing influence of the state. The print asks the audience to have sympathy and understanding for the victims of discriminatory immigration policy, policing policies and government occupation.
STOP AND SEARCH (2007) by Banksy is a screenprint in black and blue. Stop and Search is signed in blue pencil and is an edition of 500. Accompanied by a Pest Control Certificate of Authenticity. For more information about Banksy or Stop and Search, please contact the gallery. Call for Value