October 5, 2015
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This August, Banksy broke barriers by creating Dismaland, a dark, funny and controversial version of Disneyland.
Banksy is renowned for his graffiti art with which he has littered all over the world. Most of the work he produces expresses his opinion on political corruption, war and hope for revolution. His most notable works include those in Gaza which address the wars occurring within the Middle East.
Despite his work grabbing the attention of the whole world, Banksy has successfully kept his identity a secret. He rarely agrees to speak with news reporters, and when he appears before cameras, he veils his identity by covering his face or sitting in dim lighting.
The secret of Banksy has kept him a mystery to the public and left who he is to the imagination. Many theories have arisen to who Banksy might be, but there’s one thing that is known for sure: his opinions. Instead of appearing as a person, Banksy is more so a collection of ideas.
Dismaland is Banksy’s biggest project yet, and involved working with other big names in the industry. The park features all of the Disney favorites, including It’s A Small World, Mickey’s Fun Wheel and, of course, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. However, instead of happy characters prancing around, visitors of the park will see a gloomy version of the classics placed in a modern era of suffering.
Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is the icon of Disneyland, placed at the center of the park and attracts the most visitors. The castle is accompanied by a moat and, if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a sight of Sleeping Beauty herself.
However, at Dismaland, the castle’s moat is filled with polluted water and features a crashed police car.
Another princess every child dreams of meeting is Cinderella. In Dismaland, she appears in her magical pumpkin coach, presumably on her way home from the ball. A moment of such bliss wouldn’t stand a chance in Dismaland, so instead of a happy ride home, Cinderella and her crew are in the midst of a coach accident. Her dying body hangs half out the door while paparazzi stand around flashing pictures of the princess’s trauma.
The park also has an official brochure which perfectly sums up the mood of the park. It states, “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.”
Those who have visited have supported the idea that the park is a pure disaster. Haunting and incredibly critical of our culture, Dismaland is quite the opposite of the happiest place on earth, Disneyland.
AP Art students at Catalina Foothills High School think Dismaland is an exquisite idea that exemplifies the power of art. Senior Madison Martz said, “I like Bansky’s interpretation of Disneyland. He took a widely accepted and idolized place and completely altered it. Dismaland is a great example of art as a form of free expression.”
Senior Natalie Slater, another AP Art student, also agreed, “[He is] taking an idea and emphasizing the idea to the max.”
The park has an official website where you can buy tickets, see what events are planned and get inside details from Banksy himself. They even have t-shirts and a map of the entire park. If you’re interested visit http://www.dismaland.co.uk/map/ for more details.