Banksy Dismaland exhibition houses migrants in Calais ‘Jungle’ – ‘Before we were on the ground. Now the floor is dry.’Posted by Jim at Saturday, October 24, 2015
By Alastair Jamieson and Richard O'Kelly
24 October 2015
CALAIS, France (NBC News) – Renowned street artist Banksy is pricking the world's conscience by taking the remnants of a sell-out exhibition to a vast, squalid camp for refugees and migrants in northern France.
His Disneyland spoof dubbed "Dismaland" — and associated merchandise — are not in the hands of wealthy collectors but have instead been relocated to the so-called "Jungle" in the French port city of Calais. More than 6,000 shivering people live there in the hope of reaching Britain.
Timber and other materials from Banksy's "bemusement park" have been cut up and used to make shelters, while sweatshirts from the exhibition's gift store have been handed out to grateful — if somewhat puzzled — inhabitants.
"Yes, I heard he is an artist," said Amanj Amin, a 35-year-old construction worker from Irbil, Iraq. "But I don't know about him."
Banksy's public murals are valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars, and 150,000 visitors lined up for hours in Britain last month to see Dismaland.
Amin has been in the muddy camp for two months with his wife, Shadel, their children Aroz, 5, Asama, 3, and Ada, 1, along with his sister. Like 80 percent of others at the site, they shared a tent on the rain-sodden ground.
Now they are in one of at least seven shacks made from plywood and timber taken from the secretive artist's onetime installation. Their living space is cramped, dirty and undignified but it offers better protection than canvas as colder weather turns the area into a mudbath.
"Before we were on the ground. Now the floor is dry," Amin said.