I am Not Banksy! The story behind the story!
It has been a strange week in Pembroke Dock. Local councilor and community artist William Gannon was accused by one of his political rivals of being the infamous street artist, Banksy. He is not Banksy. This rumor was posted on Facebook and you would think such a bizarre rumor would stay there and be dismissed as nothing more than a distraction tactic by a man whose political career was dead. Especially considering the person making the accusation was convicted of possessing amphetamines. It didn’t. Mr. Gannon has appeared on ITV News, been interviewed by numerous reporters, appeared in The Guardian, and been contacted by radio presenters from as far away as Canada. You could not make it up (however someone obviously did). To prevent further confusion and make it very clear that he is not Banksy, Mr. Gannon has created I am Not Banksy badges. These are available from his website and are to be worn by anyone who has found themselves in a similar situation. However, they are not to be worn by Banksy, as this would cause further chaos and confusion. Being an intrepid photographer, I managed to get exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to the interview Mr. Gannon did with ITV News reporter Dean Thomas-Welch. This provided a fascinating insight into how these stories are streamlined for mass consumption. Some of the more serious aspects of this story were only touched upon and it was telling that this story often followed more serious subjects. Yes, it is possible to see the funny side, but there is also a sinister side to these accusations. The rumors were made by someone who has made a career out of denigrating and insulting his political opponents and making homophobic and racist comments. However, not drawing attention to this individual was probably a good thing. Pembroke Dock needs positive representation and collective effort to safeguard its future. Hopefully, the rumors that began out of malice and then exploded into a global phenomenon can be turned into something positive for Pembroke Dock.