Banksy’s ‘Dismaland’ to become a refugee shelter in Calais
English artist and activist Banksy has garnered a significant amount of media attention in recent months as his most recent project, Dismaland, has drawn large crowds and a number of significant musical performances. The “bemusement park” ended it’s five week run this past Sunday, and brought in a total revenue of £20 million. Banksy remained fairly silent over the course of the exhibition, succinctly appraising his project as “a theme park whose big theme is – theme parks should have bigger themes.”
Looming largely among the themes addressed in Dismaland is the ongoing European migrant crisis. Banksy included an installation addressing the current misfortune facing European refugees with what is ostensibly a macabre homage to Disneyworld’s boat ride “It’s a Small World,” and Pussy Riot performed their song “Refugee” in their set that closed out the exhibition’s run.
Now that Dismaland has reached it’s conclusion, Banksy extends the project’s involvement with the refugee crisis from fostering social awareness, to achieving social action. Dismaland’s website now displays a characteristically laconic from the artist:
“Coming soon… Dismaland Calais,” the artist says on the park’s website. “All the timber and fixtures from Dismaland are being sent to the ‘jungle’ refugee camp near Calais to build shelters. No online tickets will be available.”
The port city of Calais in Northern France currently houses 3,500 refugees.