This past summer, prominent street artist Banksy opened a dystopian theme park called Dismaland in a British resort town’s abandoned pool. The dark attraction, which closed yesterday, featured mandatory frowning for security guards, a payday-loan-style shop that offered kids 5000 percent interest rates on loans for their allowance, and slides made out of riot control vehicles.
But now, the cynical art project is finding new life in something a little more optimistic: It’s being transformed into shelter for refugees. The park has announced that “All the timber and fixtures from Dismaland are being sent to the ‘jungle’ refugee camp near Calais to build shelters.”
“The Jungle” is a makeshift camp on the outskirts of the port city of Calais, France, where refugees wait to attempt to enter the UK, often by stowing away on trucks headed through the Chunnel. Earlier this year, the French government set up its first official refugee center at the camp, where people can access showers and toilets and receive a meal during the day, but thousands of people still squat in tents with little access to sanitation (though resourceful residents have set up makeshift church and school facilities).
Dismaland featured an installation calling attention to the plight of the huge numbers of people who are currently braving deadly journeys while seeking asylum from conflicts in Syria and elsewhere. A boat pond inside the park featured dead bodies overflowing from crowded boats of asylum seekers.
And, in case you were wondering: “No online tickets will be available” for Dismaland Calais.