If you’ve never heard of Dismaland, it’s an art installation in the United Kingdom that was built as a collaboration between a number of street artists. Among those is the artist known as Banksy, who gets most of the credit for it but is far from the only person involved. As the name implies, the piece is a take on Disneyland, and is a decrepit theme park or “bemusment park.” But now, the park is closing, and not because of poor ticket sales.
The artists behind the installation have decided to take it down and send all their timber and fixtures to Calais, where they will be donated to a Syrian refuge camp located nearby.
Banksy is known around the world for his political art, but he’s not the only street artists who’s out there challenging the status quo. And, according to Maddy Myers over at themarysue.com, he’s not really all that well respected among her circle of friends, possibly because he’s the only street artist anyone has ever heard of. He gets the credit for Dismaland, for example, despite all the people involved in it.
And, let’s be honest here, nobody who has heard of Banksy or even cares about street art was particularly shocked by the idea of an art installation that pokes fun at Disney. They’re a huge corporation that has faced criticism along pretty much every line that people can think of, and are an obvious symbol of mass produced art.
But by taking that installation down and donating the lumber to the refugee camp near Calais, those artists are not only doing something actually useful with their time and resources, but they’re making an actual statement about Disney, or corporations, or whatever they feel like. They put a lot of thought and time and work and money into building Dismaland, and now they’re dismantling it and donating the parts. That’s actually a pretty significant gesture, and one which even the most generous of corporations couldn’t possibly replicate.