In March 2018, Banksy and fellow artist Borf painted the historic Houston Bowery Wall to pay tribute to Zehra Dogan. The Turkish artist was imprisoned for her artwork that showed burned Turkish flags hanging from buildings that were bombed. Dogan is currently serving a three-year prison sentence for creating the painting. Amidst the ongoing Turkey-Syria border conflict, the artist recently sent an illegal letter to Banksy. “I am writing this illegal letter to you from a dungeon which has a history of bloody tortures…” Dogan expressed. “This letter is illegal because I have a ‘communications’ ban that forbids me from sending letters of [sic] making phone calls so I’m writing and delivering this letter in clandestine ways.”
Dogan goes on to relay the conditions inside the prison, having expressed: “We are getting furious because of the horrible sounds of dozens of fighter jets that depart for bombing out beautiful lands… It’s very hard to describe the feeling of reading that someone you know is killed by the newspapers nearly every day.” The artist concludes the letter by saying thank you to Banksy for the NYC mural.
View Banksy’s Instagram post below to read the entire two-page letter with a translation near the end of the slideshow.