Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Dismaland; The Politics.

Dismaland is very political - actually it's all politics, just like me.

Robyn and me, we were both stopped in our tracks by this subversion of a Metropolitan Police poster;

For Robyn it's all about young, unarmed Black Americans shot dead by Police, for me it's mainly (but not just) about deaths of ethnic minority young men in Police Custody here in the UK.

Next to the childrens play area was this conveniently placed 'Pocket Money Loans' outlet;

Start 'em off young, I say!

So much pressure on young people;

There was plenty of politics available but of course, I came with plenty of my own any way; 

Then one of the exhibits really got to me - just a big round tent, lined with protest banners.

I'm fairly sure these were reproduced by an artist but based enough on real banners that they rang true; there was a 'National Pensioners Convention banner I recognised but it seemed like a representation to me.

I may be wrong, but there was enough of a mixture of the serious and the funny to take me back to the countless struggles I've been part of over my life.

Some really got to me;

Some are very thought provoking;


And again;

Oh yes;

And funny;


Or to put it another way;

The thing is, you picket and protest for years, gather signatures for petitions, collect food for strikers children, collect money for lost causes, you stand outside cold and windy police stations fighting injustices carried out by the people inside who are supposed to stand for justice, you fight against wars and stand up for the least popular people in society then in some stupid artwork you suddenly see it all set out in front of you...all at once.

I'm just saying I found it very moving.

But not as moving as this updated version of an old fairground game where you steer radio controlled boats around a pool;

I think it's another Banksy but I'm not sure as it wasn't labelled.

There's the White Cliffs of Dover, a series of refugee boats crammed with humanity and some border patrol boats.

There are bodies in the sea.

When I saw it, it was at the end of a summer where some weeks saw over a thousand refugees drowned.

A couple of days later we saw the pictures of a little three year old, washed up on a Turkish beach. 

Very powerful images;

I'm not sure why I liked this too, or why it fits in here, but it does;
I have enough for weeks more of this but one more day will see the end of my incredible tour of Dismaland!
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

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