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Banksy's Dismaland art installment closes but lives on as a refugee shelter.

'You have no control over whether your destiny is to be an asylum seeker or a western super-power.'

After five weeks and more than 150,000 visitors, "bemusement park" Dismaland has closed its doors.

The park was the work of Banksy, one of the world's most well-known graffiti artists.


GIF via banksyfilm/YouTube.

Upon its opening earlier this summer in the English town of Weston-super-Mare, the park/art installment instantly made headlines around the world for its critique of predatory capitalism, police violence, war, and pop culture.

But there's one last surprise.

"Coming soon… Dismaland Calais," reads an announcement on the park's website.

So, wait, what does this mean? The statement continues:

"All the timber and fixtures from Dismaland are being sent to the 'jungle' refugee camp near Calais to build shelters. No online tickets will be available."

Image via banksyfilm/YouTube.

The Jungle in Calais, France, is the home of an estimated 4,000 refugees and migrants.

Conditions at the French camp are notoriously poor. The European Union recently granted France €5 million (a little less than $5.6 million) to renovate the camp. Unfortunately, the plan proposed by the EU would accommodate less than half of the people currently living there.

Many of the refugees living at The Jungle have come from Eritrea and Sudan. As part of the larger, ongoing refugee crisis, many of these refugees and migrants wind up in Calais before attempting to cross the English Channel and establish new lives in England.

Migrants and refugees gather in Calais' Jungle camp. Photo by Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images.

So while it's really cool that Dismaland is going to be helping the people living at The Jungle, it shouldn't really come as a surprise.

One of the exhibits featured at Dismaland directly addressed the refugee crisis.

In the exhibit, overcrowded boats glide around lifeless bodies floating face-down in a small pond. There's also a small yacht. Here's how Banksy describes the exhibit:

"In the remote control boat pond at Dismaland it randomly switches the boat you operate – so you have no control over whether your destiny is to be an asylum seeker or a western super-power."

The whole thing is actually a really powerful look at privilege and caste systems. Why should the refugees be punished for having born in countries ravaged by war and economic disaster? Are the asylum seekers any less deserving of safety than the western super-powers?

Vine by Tim Chester.

As “Britain's most disappointing new visitor attraction," Dismaland had a nice effect on the local economy.

In addition to donating Dismaland's structures and fixtures to the Calais refugee camp, the short-lived theme park was a gift to another group: the local tourism industry in Western-super-Mare.

With hotel bookings up 50% over the past six weeks and more than double the number of travelers arriving from London by train, the local economy has been booming. Visit Somerset CEO John Turner estimates that Dismaland helped drive somewhere around £20 million (roughly $31 million) to local businesses.

Image via banksyfilm/YouTube.

No matter how you look at it, Dismaland was a huge success.

Help the refugees? Check. Boost local economy? Check. Entertain tourists? Check. All while producing art that sends a message? Check.

While you may have missed out on seeing Dismaland in person, you can relive the magic (?) with the video below!

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She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

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Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

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Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

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