During Pride Month over the past two years, many commuters in New York noticed the colorful posters for Pride Train, an anti-bigotry campaign created by Thomas Shim, Jack Welles, and Ezequiel Consoli. The guerrilla effort plastered subway stations with rainbow-printed faux-service posters promoting LGBTQ acceptance.
Since its launch in 2017, the campaign has expanded in both volunteers and messaging, and a new extension by artist Evan Choi and copywriter Lis Mery Ramirez takes the campaign in a more dark and pointed direction, shining a light on racially motivated attacks that take place at subway stops.
In contrast with Pride Train’s previously colorful service posters, the work by Choi and Ramirez for Pride Train II closely resembles the simple black and white platform signs that help commuters identify each stop. Upon further inspection, however, viewers find the posters contain detailed cases of public, often violent acts of racism that have taken place in those stations.
Even in its simplicity, the impact is striking. In fact, the absence of graphic (or any) imagery makes the work that much stronger, as if to say these ghastly occurrences have become as commonplace as the platform signs we see every day.
“As Asian, I always had a problem with racism in NYC,” Choi explains on his website. “So #PrideTrain provided me with a platform to alert people.”
Each sign is linked by a common call to stop the allowance of hatred at these train stations, though Choi hopes that his work inspires a worldwide movement.
“We want every project we do under #PrideTrain to make people understand that even during this time of political turbulence, there is hope and love all around us,” Choi tells Adweek. “Although these posters are only placed in NYC at the moment, we want people all around the world to see them via social media and be inspired to share the love at their very own city or country.”