Banksy’s Dismaland to be turned into refugee shelters in Calais

Posted by
Harriet Hall

There comes a time when the magic must come to an end. In the case of the Dismaland Bemusement Park, that time is now. 

The tourist attraction, created by the underground Bristolian graffiti and installation artist, Banksy, is being dismantled following its five-week run.

Banksy says that all the building materials from the park will be sent over to Calais, and used to build shelters there for people in the refugee camps.

To announce the news, the artist posted a photograph on the Dismaland website of refugees camped-out, in front of his burned out, miserable satire of Disney’s iconic castle. The caption reads:

“Coming soon… Dismaland Calais.

“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.”


The area in the French port is currently home to around five thousand refugees from countries including Syria, Libya and Eritrea, and is known as ‘the jungle’ due to the horrific conditions people are living in.

Dismaland consisted of three art galleries, with works from over 50 artists from 17 countries, including David Shrigley and Damien Hirst.

Constructed in a derelict lido in Weston-Super-Mare across a 2.5 acre park, the anti-amusement park was described by the artist as “a festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism.”


Remote-controlled boats filled with refugees at Dismaland

Works of art included a pool containing remote-controlled boats filled with migrants, which visitors could sail from Calais over to the white cliffs of Dover, Cinderella's crashed pumpkin, being photographed by hungry paparazzi, and a booth of 'Payday Loans 4 Kids.'

The £3 tickets for the park sold out and the attraction brought in more than 150,000 visitors, and an estimated £20m to the seaside town, since opening on the 22 August.

The dismantling process is predicted to take three weeks.