This study analyzes Banksy’s street art created in 2018 in New York City. Specifically, I analyze “The Rat Race”, “The Whip”, “The Seal”, “You Loot We Shoot”, and “Free Zehra Dogan” for how these works of visual rhetoric act as culture jams to be forms of social protest. To carry out my study, I conducted a visual critique of Banksy’s works and found that Banksy uses the method of culture jamming by challenging our perceptions of mundane objects in order to capture audiences' attention and convey his message. The messages he attempts to convey through his art often work as a means of social protest. I analyze the pieces in this study as individual pieces in addition to analyzing them as a collective body of works. Specifically, in the pieces critiqued, Banksy addresses issues of capitalism and gentrification as well as creating a call to action through his work “Free Zehra Dogan”. I conclude by offering some implications of this study’s findings for future visual critique directed at street art and visual forms of social protest.


Weller, Melissa


Communication Studies


Contemporary Art | Graphic Communications | Mass Communication | Photography | Rhetoric | Social Influence and Political Communication | Visual Studies


culture jam, visual rhetoric, visual criticism, Banksy, street art, capitalism, gentrification, social protest, New York City

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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