And you thought the whole shebang about Dismaland was finally over… Well, according to the elusive creator, the bemusement park is to be taken down, dismantled and sent to Calais to become a shelter for the migrants. The migrants situation has been one of the top issues lately, and Banksy apparently couldn’t ignore the dire position they found themselves in. The website of Dismaland featured a picture of the migrant camp from across the channel in Calais, France with a superimposed fire-ravaged fairytale Cinderella Castle. Following the picture was a message which read: ”Coming soon…Dismaland Calais.” So, could this, perhaps, be the final happy ending to a “not-so-happy” story of Banksy’s project?
Some called Dismaland the Britain’s most disappointing tourist attraction, yet, around 4,500 paying customers visited the park every day since its opening five weeks ago, with hundreds of thousands of social media postings and constant coverage worldwide. North Somerset tourism officials estimate it has brought £20m of business to the seaside town, which equals to a major success in any national arts venue. In comparison, earlier this year, the V&A’s Savage Beauty by Alexander McQueen was the most popular exhibition in the venue’s history, with its record-breaking 3,500 visitors per day. And Dismaland hosted 4,500 people per day, which was the maximum capacity, with probably more visitors wanting to get in had it had more room. The social media has been on fire regarding the bemusement park, with over 300,000 tweets globally relating to Banksy’s project, almost 90,000 picture posts on Instagram tagged with Dismaland and nearly 11,000 videos of it on Youtube. It may have come as a disappointment and a failure to some, but the global buzz it created is undeniable.
After a tumultuous five-week run, Dismaland finally closes its doors for good, recently, we’ve covered the closing ceremony and recapped the entire project. As Banksy stated, all the timber and fixtures used are to be taken down and sent to The Jungle, where thousands of migrants from Syria, Libya and Eritrea are camped. An estimated 5,000 people escaping their war-torn homelands are settled in the French port of Calais. The process of decommission of the entire park is expected to take three weeks. One of the controversial attractions within Dismaland featured migrant boats, so maybe this was Banksy’s plan all along. The artist himself described the park as ambitious, but also crap, saying that there was something very poetic and British about all that. The project featured works by some 50 international and British artists, causing divided opinions on the whole thing. The handpicked artists were coming from Palestine, Syria, Israel, the US and the UK. So, when all is summed up, you may not be convinced in the success/failure of Dismaland, but one thing is sure, Banksy remains one of the most controversial, attention-grabbing artists of our time, and his decision to aid the refugee camp may be controversial to some, but it gives a sort of a happy ending to the dismal story of his attraction.
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