Banksy's Dismaland is about to get a second life. The "bemusement park" spoof of the happiest place on Earth will soon shut its doors after five weeks, but it will be reborn as housing for refugees in the French port town of Calais.
NPR reported that "some 5,000 displaced people" are currently camped out around Calais and that some of them might get some new housing courtesy of the anonymous street artist's purposely disappointing, glum tourist attraction focused on economic inequality and anarchy.
Around 150,000 people have visited the park in Weston-super-Mare, England, whose features include a dead, limp Cinderella hanging off her smashed-up pumpkin carriage and a killer whale leaping out of a toilet. NPR also reported that the park included a nod to the ongoing refugee influx into Europe with an installation featuring a "boat packed with migrants floating on a pond."
In an interview accompanying the original announcement of Dismaland, Banksy said, "In the remote control boat pond at Dismaland it randomly switches the boat you operate – so you have no control over whether your destiny is to be an asylum seeker or a western super-power.
"I feel like my generation was the first to deal with the mass media beaming the world’s problems to us in real time... Mostly we’ve chosen to deal with this by cocooning ourselves, that we can live with the guilt. But 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?"