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Dismaland: The Most Dystopian Place on Earth

Written by Sarah Osman. Published: August 26 2015


Mysterious artist Banksy has finally gone and out-Willy Wonka'd himself -- by building a derelict theme park. Located in Weston-super-mare in the U.K., his latest show is called Dismaland. The bleak theme park is tucked inside an abandoned swimming resort and features everything that would be expected of an apocalyptic Disneyland -- a half-finished Disney castle, a rainbow pinwheel covered in plastic, a twisted mermaid who suspiciously looks like Ariel, a horrifying carousel, and impossible carnival games such as "topple the anvil with a ping pong ball" by artist David Shrigley.


That’s not all the park is home to. Depressed Dismaland employees roam the park in bright pink vests, completely uninterested in being friendly or helpful. A lost Stormtropper wanders around without any rhyme or reason. Guests enter the park through an awkward NSA-type screening, and, in proper Banksy fashion, exit through the gift shop.


The exhibit not only contains Banksy’s art but installations and pieces from over 50 international artists. A few of these artists include Jenny Holzer, Jimmy Cauty, Polly Morgan, Josh Keyes, Mike Ross, David Shrigley, Escif, Kate McDowell, Dietrich Wegner, and Paco Pomet. In addition to these artist exhibits (some of which are directly in the park, others of which are housed in a separate gallery), a number of events will be held at Dismaland, including performances by top musical acts and artists including Pussy Riot, Savages, and Run the Jewels, who were recently interviewed by Banksy for The Guardian.


Marketed as “the U.K.’s most disappointing new visitor attraction”, Dismaland is a critique of consumerism, celebrity culture, and law enforcement, all shrouded in a sea of apocalyptic secrecy.


Dismaland will be open to the public over the next five weeks, from August 22 to September 27th. Information about the show can be found here, so If you are able to get to the U.K., I would -- this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. (Unless Banksy decides to open one here in the States...)


Check out some fun and interesting footage of the installation from the BBC:




(Screenshot via YouTube)


- Sarah Osman, YH Contributing Writer