By Crystal Chung @crystalkchung
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The alarming notices appeared to declare the various sites as “Future Internment Camps," being built under an executive order issued by President Donald Trump.
Thankfully these signs aren’t real and are in fact the work of street artist Plastic Jesus.
Hailed as the ‘Banksy of LA,’ the British artist is well known for his brazen and provocative public displays usually targeting the entertainment industry.
And his latest art project features a more political message.
Plastic Jesus said: “The signs were intended to jar people, they look pretty realistic and that was the intention.
“What I’m trying to get across is the thought that with Trump’s recent policies we’re actually possibly and not that far away from some kind of detention centre purely for immigrants.
He added: “A few months before the election, this would have been completely unthinkable.”
The street artist enlisted the help of a team of collaborators and volunteers to post the realistic signs - complete with a very official looking Trump signature and White House seal - around New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, Boston Houston and Washington D.C.
The renowned street artist is a British green card holder, who has lived in the United States for over 10 years, and although he is yet to experience any effects of Trump’s travel ban himself, he has had numerous friends who have encountered trouble.
He said: “We’re seeing detention of travellers into the US. They have all the proper credentials, yet they’re being detained for the country they’re coming from and their race.”
Plastic Jesus’ controversial signs draw a connection between the travel ban and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II - an order than was originally signed off by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942.
As stated on the signs, the “camps” come at the command of “Executive order 9066.”
The artist said: “There were a couple of clues, and after a very simple fact check you should realise they’re not real.
For Plastic Jesus, he hopes that his signs will “highlight the dystopian times that we’re currently living in, when discrimination has been feral sanctioned and normalised.”
He added: “The feedback on the signs are shocking - because people think they’re real.
“A few months ago, they would have understood it was a joke, but today, people have a hard time telling.”
This isn’t the first time Plastic Jesus has made headlines with his public stunts. In the Summer of 2016 he erected a wall around Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star and in 2015 he brought attention to Hollywood’s drug problem by installing a life-sized Oscar statue using illegal substances on Hollywood Boulevard.
The creative is also well known for having previously attached “No Trump Anytime” and “No Kardashian Anytime” parking notices to street signs around Los Angeles.
He said: “I think with Trump we’ve certainly got a lot of material out there, but I think we need to try be intelligent and thought-provoking in the way we campaign against Trump’s policy.”
The latest signs were attached over the weekend of the 4th March, but your chances of seeing one in person may be slim, as Plastic Jesus assumes that many of them will have already been taken down by construction workers.
“I wouldn’t imagine they’d be up for very long. Let’s hope the don’t return for real.”