Finding Dismaland: A striking call to action

31 Ago , 2015  

Text and cover photograph: Arturo Coego | Versión en español

Yes, everything you probably have heard about the latest Banksy‘s project is true: Dismaland is extremely dark, gloomy and dreary. But this post-apocalyptic festival of countercultural art also contains hope, somehow.


The little Mermaid and the Dismaland’s castle.

Built in a crumbling former lido in Weston-super-Mare –a seaside resort in the South West of England–Dismaland is not just a trendy place to take selfies and feed your ego on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Beyond all the media noise, this shadowy and weird fairground shows the misery of the Western way of life and highlights its incoherences. Basically, everything in Dismaland is a depressing slap of reality.


A big sculpture of Cinderella‘s pumpkin carriage crash surrounded by paparazzi or a musical extravaganza with the Grim Reaper dancing madly on a dodgem are just two of the most shocking attractions, both of them designed by Banksy.


Map of Dismaland facilities: dismaland.co.uk

Aftermath Displacement Principle –a post-riot model village built by Jimmy Cauty–, several provocative paintings made by Paco Pomet or Jenny Holzer‘s hypnotic messages  projected in a couple of electronic signs are other noted examples of the dark artwork gathered in Dismaland.


«Aftermath Displacement Principle», by Jimmy Cauty.

Stay alive

However, hope comes out from all that devastation, somehow. There is a mighty idea of survival instinct behind of all those dystopian pieces of art exhibited in the park. Actually, it seems that more than 50 artists from 17 different nations are making through this project a striking call to action.

After all, Banksy is clear about the purpose of Dismaland: «Here you’re encouraged to consider, not just consume, to look, not just spectate and most important of all -beware of uneven floor surfaces».


Creepy attraction: miniature migrant boats controlled by the visitors.


Photograph: Joseph Gray

An heterogeneous crowd

Here we find maybe his most important milestone achieved. All along his career, Banksy has been able to spread a global, provocative and breathtaking message of fight against inequality to all generations. In fact, when I visited Dismaland, the queue was full of older people, adults and kids. No matter how older you are, take a step forward and get the hell out of your comfort zone.

And that is extremely beautiful.

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One Response

  1. Cheesecake dice:

    After reading this, I have even more desire to visit Dismaland, and I will. It would be a shame to miss this opportunity!
    Thanks for this one!!

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