Banksy

Banksy's Dismaland theme park to help refugees in Calais

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."

Recommended

Art investors are banking on Banksy
Banksy's Show me the Monet at Sotheby's
In Depth

Art investors are banking on Banksy

Long Covid: the symptoms, the treatment and who is most at risk
A Covid patient is wheeled into hospital
Fact file

Long Covid: the symptoms, the treatment and who is most at risk

Fact check: does a pint a day really keep the doctor away?
binge drinking
In Depth

Fact check: does a pint a day really keep the doctor away?

Blair’s hair: Brad Pitt or Gandalf?
Tony Blair
In Brief

Blair’s hair: Brad Pitt or Gandalf?

More on Banksy

Art investors are banking on Banksy
Banksy's Show me the Monet at Sotheby's
In Depth
5 Oct 2020

Art investors are banking on Banksy

Demand for the world-famous street artist’s work shows no sign of abating
Show me the Monet: chance to buy a Banksy... if you have £5m to spare
Show me the Monet by Banksy
In Brief
21 Sep 2020

Show me the Monet: chance to buy a Banksy... if you have £5m to spare

Artist’s take on impressionist masterpiece is going under hammer at Sotheby’s
Who is Banksy? Everything we know about the elusive street artist
screenshot_2020-06-09_at_08.30.40_cropped.png
In Depth
9 Jun 2020

Who is Banksy? Everything we know about the elusive street artist

Anonymous artist reveals artwork in support of Black Lives Matter
Has Banksy struck in Tokyo?
Banksy Tokyo Japan
In Brief
18 Jan 2019

Has Banksy struck in Tokyo?

Train station graffiti bears striking resemblance to one of the street artist’s most famous creations
Woman who bought shredded Banksy Girl With Balloon painting to keep it
Banksy art shred
In Depth
12 Oct 2018

Woman who bought shredded Banksy Girl With Balloon painting to keep it

Buyer who paid £1.04m for artwork says she has her ‘own piece of art history’
Vandalised Hull Banksy saved by window cleaner
Banksy Hull
In Depth
29 Jan 2018

Vandalised Hull Banksy saved by window cleaner

New artwork by anonymous graffiti artist on Scott Street bridge defaced with white paint
Is Banksy warning kids about the corrupt political system?
160607-banksy-school.jpg
In Depth
7 Jun 2016

Is Banksy warning kids about the corrupt political system?

Mystery street artist 'bombs' Bristol primary school with 'refreshing' new mural
Banksy's dark theme park Dismaland opens
Banksy - Weston Super Mare
In Depth
21 Aug 2015

Banksy's dark theme park Dismaland opens

From a coach-crash Cinderella to Jimmy Savile puppets, new Banksy show is gleefully bleak
Banksy trailer painting earns festival worker £445,000
150602-banksy.jpg
In Brief
2 Jun 2015

Banksy trailer painting earns festival worker £445,000

Banksy painted man's trailer home at Glastonbury in 1998 after busking with him on the streets of Bristol