Banksy’s Dismaland had its day in the sun, attracting 150,000 people to see its dead Cinderella and her fire-ravaged castle. Now closed and waiting to be dismantled, the anonymous artist has announced that its wood and fixtures will be used to build shelters at a migrant camp in France.
About 5,000 migrants from Syria, Libya, and Eritrea have poured into Calais, France, and are now living in an informal camp nicknamed the Jungle, the Guardian reported. Many of these migrants are awaiting entry into England.
This one corner of Europe is just a small part of an enormous humanitarian crisis, as hundreds of thousands of migrants flee Africa and the Middle East, most of them trekking across the continent on foot looking for refuge. The response in many European countries has been far from civil, however, and many of these migrants are seeking shelter in Germany.
Banksy announced his contribution to the migrant crisis on his web site for Dismaland, Reuters reported. He superimposed a picture of the Jungle and its many tents over the derelict Cinderella Castle at the now-famous “anti-theme park.” The photo was accompanied by the caption “Coming soon… Dismaland Calais.”
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“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’s Dismaland was a bizarre success during its five weeks as Britain’s “most disappointing visitor attraction,” garnering $30 million from visitors curious to see the street artist’s dismal interpretation of Disneyland. It closed Sunday. Staged in seaside resort town Weston-super-Mare in an outdoor swimming pool, the site featured migrant boats and an anarchist training camp, a Grim Reaper in a bumper car, and other dystopian-style attractions, USA Today added.
Artists from Israel, Palestine, Syria, the US, and the UK contributed to the project, which Banksy himself called “crap.”
“This is not a street art show. It’s modelled on those failed Christmas parks that pop up every December – where they stick some antlers on an Alsatian dog and spray fake snow on a skip,” Banksy said about Dismaland. “It’s ambitious, but it’s also crap. I think there’s something very poetic and British about all that.”
It’ll take three weeks to tear Banksy’s Dismaland apart and send its pieces to France to build shelters for migrants. Weston-super-Mare is talking about other attractions it can bring to the area to take its place.
As Banksy’s Dismaland garners some more attention to the staggering migrant crisis, John Oliver discussed the complicated issue on Last Week Tonight Sunday, including the prejudiced coverage the story has gotten on cable news and the shockingly racist reception needy migrants have gotten from European countries, Rolling Stone added.
While Germany has been welcoming migrants with open arms, other nations have closed their doors. The application process in most countries is ridiculously complicated and lengthy (some migrants were told to return with their forms in five years), and politicians in Hungary, Denmark, and the Netherlands have outright barred migrants from entering their countries. In Slovakia, officials have closed their doors to Muslims, but welcomed Christians, citing a dearth of mosques.
As Europe fails to create a system to handle this influx of people, here in the U.S., Fox News even used 2010 footage of Muslim refugees on a train, accusing them of harboring terrorists in their midst.
“For the record, these people are coming from many different countries and fleeing everything from civil war to economic stagnation. And while each story is unique, many of them are heartbreaking.”
You can watch Oliver’s breakdown on Europe’s migrant crisis here.
[Photos Courtesy Rafael Yaghobzadeh, Matthew Horwood / Getty Images]