Banksy's Dismaland Will Now Be Used to Aid Migrant Refugees
Musicians, art fans, and wannabe anarcho–punks have been flooding street artist Banksy’s latest, and largest, piece Dismaland since it’s opening a month ago. Now the ‘bemusement park’ is coming to a close (after a fantastic show from Pussy Riot and De la Soul) after a statement was released on the Dismaland website: “Coming soon… Dismaland Calais.”
As migrant hopefuls pour into the French port city of Calais looking to cross the English Channel to London, the living (or rather camping) conditions have worsened for refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Darfur, Iraq, Somalia, and Nigeria looking for political asylum. At this point, the trek to the UK has become a dangerous voyage. The UN Refugee Agency has already called for urgent authority action in aiding the over 3,000 migrants stuck at the port city.
The artist’s announcement was posted along with an image of the dilapidated Dismaland castle surrounded by migrants tents. The site also stated, “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,” Banksy calls out to UK officials who have been deftly avoiding the issue. Referring to Calais by it’s new nickname, the ‘jungle camp’, the artist parodies the inhumane effect of a narrative of otherness that has sprung from the UK’s lack of involvement. Much like his penchant for critiquing consumerist and capitalist ideals, Banksy has also used his art to highlight social injustice – and now help out – in his own way.
The graffiti artist has once again done what he’s always done best; he’s forced us all to take a good, hard look in the mirror and ideally be inspired to implement change. There’s no doubt that the physical resources of Dismaland will help to shelter refugees, but there’s much more to be done.
Photos via the Dismaland website and Toby Melville.