Dismaland is described by its mysterious street-artist creator, Banksy, as “a festival of art, amusements, and entry-level anarchism.”
Apathetic attendants wear safety vests and mouse-ear hats while telling guests to “end joy” the attractions.
Here’s some text from the event’s official brochure:
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 whose 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, spraycans, illegal drugs, and lawyers from the Walt Disney corporation.
Reasons why this was my favourite film as a child:
Male and female protagonists can be friends without promise of romance.
Arguments among friends which are overcome by working together. Then they don’t rub in that one made a mistake, they just move on from it.
A single parent family becomes a no parent family, then grandparents do a great job of raising the kid.
Accepting loss, and dealing with it in a realistic way. Moving through anger, denial, hope, grief, and acceptance.
Seeing that foolish actions can have serious consequences.
Compassion in some of its gentlest and most subtle forms. The berry, protecting the tree star, sleeping in a group for warmth and reassurance.
‘We never do anything together’ - bridging the gap between species, genders, and ages. Proving that no matter what they look like, kids are kids, and they can be friends.
Actual personalities and flaws. Cera is stubborn and proud, Ducky uses her childish humour and liveliness to hide her pain from losing her siblings, Spike is a baby, but fond enough of his companions to find bravery, Petrie is defensive and self important to compensate for his inability to fly, and his fear. Littlefoot takes the role of the leader because he cherishes the lives of others, and knows the stinging loss they’re all feeling.
Also because it breaks my heart every fricken time.