Banksy to Donate ‘Dismaland’ Materials to French Refugee Camp

The dystopian theme park’s timber and fixtures will travel to France’s notorious “Jungle” camp.

via wikimedia commons user Byrion Smith

The world famous street artist Banksy announced Monday that the materials used to construct his dystopian “Dismaland” theme park will be donated to a refugee camp in Calais, France. The park’s timber and fixtures will be repurposed for shelters, the artist wrote on Dismaland’s official website.

Dismaland’s five-week run in the small British seaside town of Weston-super-Mare ended Sunday.

A Dismaland installation on refugees, via wikimedia commons user Florent Darrault

Though Banksy’s announcements did not include any further details on Dismaland’s second life, media reports on Calais’ “Jungle” camp makes clear that those living there could use the additional resources. The camp currently hosts between 3,500 and 4,000 refugees and migrants, who live in makeshift tent villages. It serves as a stopping place for those hoping to enter the United Kingdom—both through legal processes and by stowing away in trucks, cars and trains.

Syrian refugee Mazen Mallah wrote of his month-long stay in the Calais camp this summer:

The center has toilets but the ones in the Jungle are so filthy they are unusable. People have to just go wherever they can. There are showers you can use in the camp which are open from midday to 7pm. But you have to queue for a ticket and every morning there are crowds of 200 people waiting outside. I tried every day for a week to get a shower, but in the end I had to give up. …

For the first few days I had to sneak into a medical tent to sleep. Every night I saw people come back with injuries from trying to jump trains, with damaged hands or legs. The medical center can’t deal with everyone. When I hurt my leg trying to get to the trains I couldn’t get seen as it was too crowded.

The camp’s residents receive one meal per day—“not enough food,” wrote Mallah.

The BBC reports that the French authorities who oversee the camp “have a difficult balancing act”: They must provide those living in the Jungle with enough food and shelter to survive, but do not want to attract more refugees and migrants to the area.

Julian Meehan

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