In August, street artist Banksy opened a massive art installation that either handily lampooned capitalism and theme parks and animated mermaids, or took obvious potshots at giant corporations to appear edgy, depending on your opinion of Banksy.
Regardless of whether or not you appreciate his efforts, Banksy’s “Dismaland” park brought $30 million in business to the declining tourist town of Weston-super-Mare [Britain has the best town names ever -ed], and had more than 150,000 visitors in just over a month.
Now, after a series of live concerts — with bands like Savages, Pussy Riot, Run the Jewels, and Massive Attack — the park is done. Dismaland’s website has announced the “bemusement park” will be closed, dismantled, and shipped to France.
At least four thousand refugees, most hoping to gain entry to England, are staying at a camp nicknamed “the Jungle,” on the outskirts of the town of Calais. Last week, it was revealed that Dismaland’s set pieces — including an installation where you could steer tiny lifeboats around the Cliffs of Dover and the drowned bodies of other migrants — would be taken apart, and the timber and other materials would be re-purposed for shelters at “the Jungle.”
Conditions there are rough. The European Union gave France €5 million to renovate the camp. Banksy’s Dismaland contributions will help the approximately two thousand refugees that will still be in need after planned renovations.
So if you’re of the particular opinion that Banksy is overexposed and contrite, you can at least admit that this time his art will actually be accomplishing something.