Dismaland to be reassembled as shelters at Calais’ Jungle refugee camp

Dismaland to be reassembled as shelters at Calais’ Jungle refugee camp
Cinderella’s castle finds an unlikely new home — Materials from Banksy’s infamous ‘bemusement park’ in Weston-super-Mare are to be used to build shelters for the thousands of refugees stuck in Calais.

At one of the darkest attractions in Banksy’s Dismaland, visitors were invited to pilot remote-controlled coastguard vessels to ram into model boats packed full of migrants. A depressing caricature of Europe’s response to the Mediterranean migrants crisis, war-weary model refugees looked out from the dangerously over-crowded boats while drowned bodies floated by face-down in the murky water.

Banksy-Dismaland2As builders begin dismantling the infamous ‘bemusement park’ at Weston-super Mare, Banksy has announced that the timber and fixtures from Dismaland will be sent to the Calais ‘Jungle’ refugee camp to build shelters.

Naturally, there will be the haters, weary of Banksy’s antics, who see him using the Calais refugees as extras in another publicity stunt. However, there is no doubt the support is desperately needed. When Huck visited the camp in August with Critical Mass activists, we met people living in dire conditions and saw torrential rain wash away tents and other makeshift shelters.

Between three to five thousand displaced people are estimated to be living in the camp, mostly from countries such as Sudan, Afghanistan and Eritrea. The majority hope to make it to Britain, but as security around the port and Eurotunnel have been beefed up, growing numbers have been stuck in the Jungle, with many applying for asylum in France.

The image released by Banksy to announce his new plans for Dismaland.

The image released by Banksy to announce his new plans for Dismaland.

Banksy released a picture with Dismaland’s centrepiece, Cinderella’s castle, photoshopped into the middle of the Jungle camp. However, it’s unlikely that anything will be recognisable of installations such as Guerrilla Island, the Jeffrey Archer Memorial Fire Pit or Water Cannon Creek, when material from the park is reassembled in Calais.

As Huck reported, government indifference and inaction on both sides of the channel has spurred groups of ordinary people to come together to donate clothing, bicycles and other supplies to the Calais refugees.

In August, French prime minister Manuel Valls pledged a £3.6m humanitarian camp – but that won’t be ready until next year, and weeks after Valls’ speech French police marched in to destroy a section of the camp.

Whatever you think of Banksy, it looks like he’ll be putting roofs over people’s head in Calais long before the French (or British) government does anything meaningful to help.

Enjoyed this article? Like Huck on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Latest on Huck

Save the date for Rishi’s Leaving Drinks
Election 2024

Save the date for Rishi’s Leaving Drinks

Huck is teaming up with our friends at Dalston Superstore and Queer House Party to bring you an election night viewing party like no other.

Written by: Ben Smoke

Activists claim victory after major UK festivals drop Barclays as a sponsor
Activism

Activists claim victory after major UK festivals drop Barclays as a sponsor

Groups and artists have been campaigning for Live Nation to drop the bank as a sponsor for Download, Latitude and Isle of Wight over alleged ties to the arms trade.

Written by: Ben Smoke

Exploring the football fanatic culture of the Middle East
Outdoors

Exploring the football fanatic culture of the Middle East

New photo book ‘Football كرة القدم’ draws together pictures from over a dozen photographers to explore the region’s vibrant football culture.

Written by: Isaac Muk

Drag artists unite to get out the vote, babes
Election 2024

Drag artists unite to get out the vote, babes

East London legend Crystal talks to Huck about her new campaign, Vote, Babes! which brings together over 20 drag artists to encourage young people to use their vote.

Written by: Ben Smoke

I interrupted Keir Starmer’s manifesto launch – here’s why
Election 2024

I interrupted Keir Starmer’s manifesto launch – here’s why

One of Starmer’s constituents, Alice tried every way to talk to her then MP about the crisis facing her generation, but he did not listen she writes exclusively for Huck.

Written by: Alice, Green New Deal Rising

Bashy: “My dad kept me alive”
Culture

Bashy: “My dad kept me alive”

In our latest Daddy Issues column, award winning actor and MC Ashley “Bashy” Thomas talks traditional masculinity, learning survival skills from his Dad and ‘making it’.

Written by: Robert Kazandjian

Sign up to our newsletter

Issue 80: The Ziwe issue

Buy it now