Banksy's Dismaland theme park to help refugees in Calais

Sep 28, 2015

Timber and fixtures from popular 'bemusement park' will be used to build shelters at the refugee camps


Britain's most depressing theme park has closed its doors to the public and will be dismantled and relocated to Calais to provide shelter for refugees, Banksy has revealed. 

Dismaland – described by the street artist as "a family attraction that acknowledges inequality and impending catastrophe" – enjoyed an extremely successful five-week run in Weston-super-Mare.

His installation featured ponds with motor boats full of destitute refugees, a mangled Cinderella and disgruntled stewards carrying bunches of balloons labelled "I'm an imbecile".

Tourism bosses say the subversive art exhibition, which was sold-out throughout its run, attracted more than 150,000 paying visitors and £20m to the seaside town, the BBC reports.

But today builders began dismantling the "bemusement park" after Banksy announced on his website that the timber and fixtures used would be sent to Calais to build shelters for refugees.

He posted an image of Dismaland's derelict castle superimposed over the refugee camps in Calais with the caption: "Coming soon ... Dismaland Calais. No online tickets will be available."

More than 3,000 men, women and children are living in squalid conditions in camps at French port, the majority of them having fled war and persecution in countries like Syria, Libya and Eritrea.  

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Banksy said people should no longer be cocooning themselves and their children from the guilt they feel in response to tragedies like the refugee crisis.

"Why should children be immune from the idea that to maintain our standard of living other children have to die trapped in the hulls of boats in the bottom of the Mediterranean? "

"The grown-ups might have convinced themselves small incremental change and buying organic tomatoes is enough, but passing that mindset onto the next generation doesn't feel like good parenting."

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