Dismaland Gets Real

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Migrant boat pond #banksy #dismaland #exhibition #art #bemusementpark #westonsupermare #boatpond

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Banksy’s politically minded faux theme park Dismaland (which I wrote about here) has captured the public imagination in a way most art installations don’t, attracting about 170,000 visitors and boosting the local economy by about $30 million. Now, after a five-week run in the British resort town of Weston-super-Mare, Dismaland will be repurposed in the form of shelters for migrants and refugees in France.

The materials will be sent to the “jungle” in Calais, where around 3,000 people, mostly from the Middle East and Africa, live. The encampment made international news this summer when a large number of its inhabitants attempted to cross the Channel Tunnel into Britain. “Coming soon… Dismaland Calais,” reads Banksy’s homepage for the park. “No online tickets will be available.”