Over 60 internationally recognised street & visual artists including Hyuro, Escif, David De La Mano and Robert Montgomery have taken part in the world’s first coordinated ad takeover in 12 countries as part of #SubvertTheCity – a week of creative action that saw artists and the public imagining a world beyond consumerism. The artworks installed in advertising spaces share images and ideas of hope & solidarity in order to challenge the politics of fear and division that is gripping western societies.
Hundreds of artworks were installed in advertising spaces on the same day in over 30 cities around the world including London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Melbourne, Tehran and Beunos Aires. Alongside artworks, the Subvertisers International also released a public statement that was translated and installed in ad spaces in various languages around the world encouraging members of the public to imagine an alternative society beyond consumerism and the multiple social and environmental issues that this system of thought creates and exacerbates.
#SubvertTheCity is the first global call to action by the Subvertisers International, a new urban art movement founded by Brandalism, NoADDay, PublicAdCampaign and friends from around the world over the last year. The week of creative action saw ‘Ad Hack’ workshops, talks, screenings, street art installations with over 60 creative actions around the world.
Bill Posters from Brandalism said ‘we founded the Subvertisers International to challenge corporate advertising all over the world. The concept behind #SubvertTheCity is to imagine and share visions of hope for the kinds of cities and societies we must create to meet our shared human needs and those of the planet. We are challenging consumerism by moving beyond it because what we need right now are not cheaper cosmetics or faster cars, we need visions and solutions to the social and environmental issues we face in our cities and societies around the world. We hope this project and the art works will inspire others to imagine alternatives and take action by joining our movement.’
Many of the #SubvertTheCity artworks submitted by artists from 17 countries including Iran, Egypt, Mexico, Poland and Hungary focus on the refugee crisis and express solidarity with those that are facing persecution in their own countries and abroad.
A statement from Iranian street artists Icy & Sot says ‘a better country is a place that welcomes the refugees/ immigrants, helps the people in need, provides free education and medication that will lead to a better society where people help and support each other no matter what their religion or nationality is.’
Hungarian artist Jadran Boban stated that “we are witnessing the rapid growth of politics that assure us we should be afraid of the outside world, from the “others”, be it immigrants or other minorities, while being told that we should build walls for our own protection, we become prisoners living in a stringent world – deliberately excluded from active participation in social and political life. We should tear down that wall.”
Dismaland artists KennardPhillips said ‘our alternative society welcomes refugees as fellow citizens. They don’t see people as counters to be played with as politicians do now, trying to buy themselves votes. The wars, dictatorships, climate change and extreme poverty that create the situation where people have to flee their homes are caused by the countries that are refusing to protect them.’