Although it attracts an enormous amount of visitors every single day Banksy’s theme park Dismaland is still far away from the capital. But the Londoners shouldn’t worry since they can now experience the spirit of the Bemusement Park in their own city which overnight became an open air exhibition space. What is it all about? Well, just recently 300 posters made by the Dismaland artists just appeared on the streets of the UK capital, all over the public transport system protesting against DSEI Arms fair, one of the biggest events in the field of arms trade.
DSEI (Defense Security and Equipment International) is one of the most influential arms fair events worldwide happening every two years at ExCel Centre and attracting all kinds of visitors from military officials to arm dealers. The event was protested in the past, raising many controversies over Britain’s involvement in exporting licenses to countries internationally recognized as guilty of major human rights violations. Since this year DSEI marketing team did a poor job in advertising the event, intentionally or not, a new kind of advertisements popped up all across the city spreading the Dismaland messages.
Before the official opening of the DSEI more than 300 artworks, part of Dismaland’s Cruel Designs exhibition which displays artworks about the gun trade were placed across the train carriages and instead of bus shelter advertisements. It was reported that the unauthorized replacement of the adverts was the work of guerilla artists and the group which goes by the name Special Patrol Group who has been providing the visitors of Dismaland with a special Ad Space Hack Packs. For just £6.00, these Ad Hack Tools can be bought at the Dismaland gift shop, and apparently they are efficient when it comes to opening a third of bus stop advertising spaces on the planet. More than 2000 of them were sold and they turned out to be a very useful tool for those individuals who decided to hijack the public adverts and replace them with the anti-DSEI messages.
Transport for London officials have been quick to condemn the unauthorized placement of the posters in the last couple of days, but the spreading of the alternative advertisements against DSEI arms fair and Britain’s foreign policy continues. The posters made by a variety of artists including the ones of Jonathan Barnbrook, artist known for his controversial cover for David Bowie’s album, can be bought at Dismaland, and apparently more than 3000 of them were sold already. Whether they will all finish on the streets is a thing to see in the following days, but with the unofficial encouragement from Banksy and other participants in his project the chances are we will see more of them soon.
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All images used for illustrative purposes