Tag Archives: Banksy

On the topic of anonymity:

8 Jan

Photo courtesy of Banksy.

I will soon be giving up my ability to be anonymous, unknown — blend in. I’ve finally received word on my official destination and accepted an invitation to serve in Indonesia. (More on Indonesia later.)

I’ve been considering the fact that I am going to stick out for better or worse in Indonesia. The Peace Corps even cautions of this in one of its handbooks which addresses adjustments volunteers must be prepared to make. Peace Corps volunteers reach a sort of “celebrity” status in the country they serve in. This is due to the fact that in the areas they go, they might be a person’s only exposure to a citizen of the U.S., Westerner or even a  foreigner. A great deal of interest will be associated with this as many people will be curious to learn about me and what I’m doing there.

So this, coupled with my recent viewing of “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” which features, was produced by and directed by the elusive street artist Banksy, has got me thinking a lot of about the luxury of the ability to remain anonymous.

Think about it. It’s apparent some people desire to be seen and known or pop culture wouldn’t be riddled with faux celebrities soaking up their 15 minutes and making careers out of just being seen on TV. These people get paid to attend club events and parties, tweet and more. They want to be heard and seen.  So there’s those people . . .

But, if you ask most celebrities (especially ones with talent and especially über celebrities), I’m sure there are times when they’d give anything to be completely unseen and blend in just like everyone else.  (If you want to refute this, just think of how much they invest in creating a world of privacy around themselves.)

Bansky on the other hand . . . his name is known. His work appreciated. Yet, he retains the ability to get a cup of coffee or a box of cereal and not draw attention. If I may opine, this is possibly the best of both worlds.

Obviously, I haven’t experienced any sort of celebrity.  I’ve lived my life as most, another face in the crowd. I just thought I’d give some thought on anonymity being that it is held to some as dear and to others a plague to be avoided at all costs. (I’m talking about you, Lady Gaga.)

I will have to make many changes when I go to Indonesia, and one thing is for sure: I will be very out of place, and I will be giving up the freedom of going unnoticed while going about my daily business. Whether the attention is sought or not, good or bad,  I think I will enjoy blending in for the time being.

Photo courtesy of Banksy.