The notorious guerrilla artist has announced he will be deconstructing his 'bemusement park' and using the timber and fixtures to build shelters for refugees stranded in Calais.
Street art superstar Banksy is turning his most recent installation ‘Dismaland’ into a shelter for refugees in Calais, the French city that hosts one of the largest refugee camps in Western-Europe.
Located at the edge of the Channel Tunnel that connects France and England, Calais’ ‘the jungle’ houses refugees from East Africa, the Middle East, and Afghanistan, who await to find a way into the UK, often by being smuggled in cars, trucks and trains.
The infamous artist, who has come under criticism for being an “easy to digest” art form while posing as anti-establishment, has decided to take matters to his own hands and contribute to the refugee crisis by re-purposing his so-called ‘bemusement’ park.
“All the timber and fixtures from Dismaland are being sent to the ‘jungle’ refugee camp near Calais to build shelters,” Banksy wrote on the exhibit’s website, along with a photograph where his fire-ravaged fairytale Cinderella Castle is surrounded by tents. Refugees were already a theme within the attraction, which included ponds with motor boats filled with desperate asylum-seekers.
The installation, located in Weston-super-Mare in England, opened last month to recognise "inequality and impending catastrophe," said Banksy, pulling in more than $30 million in visits during its run. Its deconstruction of is expected to start on Monday and will allegedly take three weeks, with all timber and fixtures being shipped to Calais.
Refugees, who arrive to France after a torturous journey across the Mediterranean Sea that begins in Turkey, Egypt, or Libya, are often victim to violence, robbery and rape, as smugglers repeatedly abuse their statelessness. Once they reach Calais, conditions are desperate. According to UK’s The Independent, there are about 5,000 refugees from Syria, Libya and Eritrea have made their way to Calais’ new ‘Jungle’ camp this year, after a previous "jungle camp" was demolished.
Main image by Byrion Smith, Creative Commons Licence.