Date of Award
Master of Science (MS) in Communications
This study examines eight images by the world renowned—and incognito—graffiti street artist known only as Banksy. The eight images are all of lone children; fourteen paintings comprise the total of Banksy’s 2008 visit to post-Katrina New Orleans. For the research, the eight images of children are referred to collectively as the “NOLA Children Series.” Banksy critics and fans have provided their own names for each piece: Simpsons Boy, Umbrella Girl, Fridge Kite, Levee Boy, Life Preserver Swing, Girl on Stool, and Trumpet Boy 1 & 2. The primary research objective was to understand Banksy’s motives for creating these eight “dramas” as he did. Secondarily, the research also advances the interpretative framework for Visual Rhetoric. Close Textual Analysis and Kenneth Burke's Dramatistic Pentad combine as methods informed by scholarship in visual design and visual rhetoric. The study concludes by noting Banksy’s condemnation of authority figures for their role in betraying the children of New Orleans. Recent studies confirm that the failed levees and failed leadership of 2005 still haunt those who were children when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Southeast Louisiana.
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Tennison, Phillip J., "EXISTING WITHOUT PERMISSION: A VISUAL RHETORICAL ANALYSIS ON BANKSY’S NOLA CHILDREN AND THE BETRAYAL OF AUTHORITY" (2017). EWU Masters Thesis Collection. 438.