Banksy’s Theme Park “Dismaland” Shows Darker Side of History and Pop Culture

ARTS, 24 Aug 2015

John Vibes, True Activist – TRANSCEND Media Service

21 Aug 2015 – The mysterious and world famous activist and artist Banksy recently unveiled one of his largest projects to date, a mock theme park that shows the darker side of history and pop culture. The park is called “Dismaland”, which seems to be a play on words with Disneyland, the Disney theme parks. However, Banksy denied this connection in a recent statement.


“It’s not a swipe at Disney,” he said, adding that, “I banned any imagery of Mickey Mouse from the site. It’s a showcase for the best line-up of artists I could imagine, apart from the two who turned me down.”

As the name implies, much of the art in the park is dismal, and many of the attractions are as well. They also contain Banky’s signature activist touch, calling attention to real global issues that are often avoided by mainstream culture.

The park is located at Weston-super-Mare, an abandoned swimming resort in south-west England.

Banksy described the park as “a festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism” and mentioned that it was not suitable for children.

“I guess you’d say it’s a theme park whose big theme is ‘theme parks should have bigger themes’,” he said.

The park’s brochure reads:

Are you looking for an alternative to the soulless sugar-coated banality of the average family day out? Or just somewhere cheaper. Then this is the place for you—a chaotic new world where you can escape from mindless escapism. Instead of a burger stall, we have a museum. In place of a gift shop we have a library, well, we have a gift shop as well.

Bring the whole family to come and enjoy the latest addition to our chronic leisure surplus—a bemusement park. A theme park who’s big theme is: theme parks should have bigger themes…

This event contains adult themes, distressing imagery, extended use of strobe lighting, smoke effects and swearing. The following items are strictly prohibited: knives, spray cans, illegal drugs, and lawyers from the Walt Disney corporation.

The park is expected to be open for about five weeks.

Some of the photos of the various installations can be viewed below:

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John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter-culture and the drug war.

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