Berlin : La BVG et les graffiti – en conflit d’intérêts

A person walks by the UCHILS Graffiti Bombing on the yellow panel of the Berlin Metro.

Les transports publics berlinois (BVG) sont responsables des métros, tramways et bus à Berlin et dans les environs. Ils gèrent le plus grand réseau de métro de l’espace germanophone. Mais en plus du jaune distinctif des trains, ils sont maintenant aussi connus dans le monde entier pour leurs graffitis colorés….

Dans une interview au journal local Morgenpost, Sigrid Nikutta, la patronne de la BVG, a exprimé son indignation face aux actes de vandalisme de plus en plus nombreux sur les panels du métro. Selon l’article du Morgenpost, chaque métro est statistiquement affecté – tous les 2 mois. Calculé à environ un mois, cela représente environ 650 graffitis par mois pour un parc d’environ 1300 voitures.

“Parce qu’on t’aime”

Slogan publicitaire d’une campagne BVG

Les transports publics berlinois ont été touchés par un scandale interne lorsqu’il est apparu que le personnel de sécurité n’était pas intervenu, même si les sprayeurs avaient été pris en flagrant. Le graffiti appartient tout simplement à Berlin.

Le 29 juin, journée record: treize voitures de métro peintes et une surface totale de 240 mètres carrés ont ainsi été peints. Et de tels jours de pointe peuvent se répéter rapidement. Rien que deux mois plus tôt, le 1er avril, lors de la grève générale de la BVG, ils avaient déjà battu tous les records. Un résultat final de 140 voitures graffé de métro dans un jour. Certains ont même exprimé leur solidarité avec les cheminots et ont décoré les wagons du métro avec des phrases politiques.

“Parce qu’on t’aime” – La campagne publicitaire primée de la BVG (et connue pour ses violations des droits d’auteur) est un message fort partagé par les graffeurs. La peinture sur le jaune et les ballades dans les puits souterrains, comment ne pas aimer le métro ? En 2017, l’équipe de ZGM a réalisé un Wholecar, une voiture entièrement peinte, avec le slogan de la BVG, qui apparaît à la fin de leur vidéo (05:03).

Mais au moins pas seul

Les entreprises de transports publics berlinoises ne sont pas les seules à être confrontées à de plus en plus de graffitis. La Deutsche Bahn et, dans le cas de Berlin, le Ring-Bahn peuvent également chanter une chanson de la peinture sur leurs rames.

Cet article est disponible en allemand et en anglais.

Berlin: Die BVG und Graffiti

The OKULT Graffiti leaves with the subway. Letters in Blue and grey Fill Ins and red Outlines.

Die Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) sind zuständig für die U-Bahnen, Straßenbahnen und Omnibusse in Berlin und dem angrenzenden Umland. Dabei verwalten sie das größte U-Bahn-Netz im deutschsprachigen Raum. Doch neben dem markanten Gelb der Bahnen sind sie inzwischen auch weltweit für ihre farbenfrohen Graffitis bekannt…

Gegenüber der lokalen Zeitung Morgenpost zeigte sich die BVG-Chefin Sigrid Nikutta entrüstet über die zunehmenden Vandalismusakte an den Panels der Bahnen. So ist in dem Artikel der Morgenpost zufolge statistisch gesehen jede U-Bahn davon betroffen – und das alle 2 Monate. Ungefähr auf den Monat heruntergerechnet, macht dies um die 650 Graffitis im Monat, bei einer Fahrzeugflotte von ungefähr 1300 Wagen.

“Weil wir dich lieben”

Werbespruch einer BVG-Kampagne

“Weil Sie es lieben”: Die Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe wurden von einem internen Skandal erfasst. Es kam heraus, dass Sicherheitsmitarbeiter nicht eingegriffen hatten, obwohl die Sprüher auf frischer Tat ertappt worden waren. Graffiti gehört wohl einfach zu Berlin.

Am 29. Juni ging es dabei so richtig zur Sache: Dreizehn besprühte U-Bahn Wagen und eine bemalte Gesamtfläche von 240 Quadratmetern waren das Ergebnis. Und solche Spitzentage können schnell wiederholt werden. Allein zwei Monate zuvor, am 1. April während dem Generalstreik der BVG, brachen sie alle Rekorde. Ein farbiges Endergebnis von 140 besprühten U-Bahnwagen war die Folge. Einige Sprüher bekundeten damals Solidarität mit den Bahnern und zierten die U-Bahn-Wägen mit politischen Sätzen.

“Weil wir dich lieben” – Die prämierte Werbekampagne der BVG (für Copyright-Verletzungen bekannt) ist eine starke Botschaft, die Sprüher teilen. Der Lack auf dem Gelb und das Wandern durch die Bahn-Schächte, wie können Sie die U-Bahn nicht lieben? 2017 setzte die Crew ZGM den Spruch in einem Wholecar, einem gänzlich bemalten Wagen um, der am Ende von ihrem Video zu sehen ist (05:03).

Doch zumindest nicht allein

Nicht nur die Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe sehen sich mit immer mehr Graffiti konfrontiert. Auch die Deutsche Bahn und im Fall von Berlin die Ring-Bahn können ein Liedchen von dem Lack auf ihren Zügen singen.

Der Artikel ist in Englisch und Französisch verfügbar.

Berlin: The subway and its graffiti

The OKULT Graffiti leaves with the subway. Letters in Blue and grey Fill Ins and red Outlines.

The Berlin transport services (BVG) are responsible for the subway, trams and buses in Berlin and the surrounding area. They manage the largest subway network in the German-speaking area, which includes Austria. But in addition to the distinctive yellow of the trains, they are as well-known worldwide for their colorful graffiti…

In an interview with the local newspaper Morgenpost, BVG director Sigrid Nikutta expressed her indignation at the increasing acts of vandalism at the panels of the subways. According to the article in the Morgenpost, every subway is statistically affected – every 2 months. Calculated down to approximately one month, this amounts to around 650 graffiti per month for a pool of around 1300 cars.

“Because you love it as well?”: An intern scandal erupted when a video of the famous 1UP-Crew revealed that security personnel had not intervened even though the sprayers had been caught red-handed. – They got filmed

A passion filling the panels of the trains

On 29 June, it really got down to business: Thirteen sprayed subway cars and a painted total area of 240 square meters were the result. Such peak days can hit quickly again with the arrival of train writing tourists. Two months earlier alone, on 1 April during a general strike of the BVG, all records got broken. 140 colourful sprayed subway cars were the result. Some sprayers even expressed solidarity with the railroaders and decorated the subway cars with political sentences.

“Because we love you”

Slogan of a BVG campaign

“Because we love you” – The award-winning advertising campaign (and as well known for some copyright abuses) of the BVG is a strong message. And it’s something the vandals share as well: The paint on the yellow and the walking through the underground shafts. How can they not love Berlins subway? In 2017, the ZGM crew realized the slogan on a Wholecar which appears at the end of their video (05:03).

But at least not alone

Not only the Berlin public transport company sees itself confronted with more and more graffiti. Also, the german railway company and in the case of Berlin the Ring-Bahn can praise the paintings on their trains.

This article is available in German and French.

Hong Kong: How will its future look like ?

People in Hong Kong manifestates for more Democracy. A banner on the floor states: Free Hong Kong. Democracy now.

The first of July Hong Kong celebrated its 22th anniversary of democracy and the liberation from the British colonial power. At that day in 1997, China promised to give 50 years of freedom to the special administration area Hongkong. That might be the reason why people of Hong Kong are concerned about the “Extradition Bill” which would have allowed the administration to extradition political activists to China. The bill is indefinitely delayed; the protests are still continuing.

The story of the “Extradition Bill

The reason for introducing the bill starts from a Hong Kong national murder case in Taiwan, Tong-Kai Chan, admitted killing his girlfriend. While the murder case occurred in Taiwan and there is no judicial cooperation agreement between Taiwan and Hong Kong.  Therefore, Hong Kong can neither sue him on murder-related cases nor respond to Taiwanese candidacy requirements. He is currently imprisoned in Hong Kong on the grounds of “stolen credit card” accusation.

Why such a strong concern?

The “Extradition Bill” exists to amend the existing mutual legal assistance for fugitive offenders and criminal cases so that the Hong Kong Government can hand over fugitives to China, Taiwan and Macao.

The so-called Extradition Bill, if approved, would allow extradition of people not only to China but to any jurisdiction in the world with which Hong Kong has no formal agreement. The fear of the protesters is that the government of Mainland China could imprison different thinking politicians from this law. To give you an uncovered insight into what is going on, we interviewed several Hong Kong people.

Interview with a person from Hongkong

This interview was held anonymously in the 4th week of the protests. For reasons of source protection we do not give any personal information.

Click here for the Chinese (mandarin, traditional) version of the interview.

1. Do you think the previous Sun Flower Movement held in Taiwan has an effect to the Extradition Bill?

The Sun Flower movement has evoked more young people into politics. University students represent the voice of youth and wisdom, they can participate in political issues from different aspects. Taiwan and Hong Kong’s political situations are similar to some extent. Taiwanese and Hong Kong people believe that they have faced the same issue, therefore, most of them decided to ally together against the Bill. To sum up, the Sun Flower movement has contributed to the Extradition Bill movement.

2. Will the Bill be harmful to Hong Kong in the future?

The main problem of Hong Kong recently would be the mistrust on both judiciary and administrative system of the government. Moreover, it also exposes their lack of trust to Mainland China government.

Along with the Hong Kong government’s legislative agenda and the police’s enforcement actions being doubted, it is hard for me to imagine how a city can be governed nicely. As for the “Mainlandization” of Hong Kong’s judicial system. Frankly speaking, this idea is chilling and infuriating.

In the past, China was governed by the rule of man, they did not have the precise rule of law like in Western countries. It seemed like as convict by their will, but is this really true in Mainland China? I do not know because I do not live in China and have not received their educations so I am not sure whether my points above are biased because of my fears?

From this aspect, currently Hong Kong exalts “Hong Kong people rule Hong Kong”, the main fear of the protesters is that society will face the rule of man in the future.

3. What is your thought of Carrie Lam?

I sensed our chief executive is very doubtful of herself and she is in an awkward predicament. This amendments need to be done. In the past, due to the bad living standard and traffic condition, there were less inter-regional crime. However, things are different nowadays, with the increasing use of the internet, crimes which are committed these days can cross borders. If this amendment is not done, the judicial organization will face the difficulty to track the crime activities which makes Hong Kong turn into the bed of criminals.

On the other hand, the lack of understanding and fear of the ordinance or even China maybe the possible reason of those who opposed the legislation act vigorously. This made Carrie Lam very scared because it showed that the government are not able to calm the people down nor gain their trust.

4. Does the police attack the protesters?

I will not phrase it as an attack since ATTACK is a verb which takes initiative. The police had injured the protesters and the protesters also brought a lot of umbrellas for the march. I was not there so I did not know what happened at that moment. The clips that aired on media are all edited. It is hard for me to believe since I did not see the conflict with my own eyes. I can not tell you whether the police are attacking or self-defending.

According to the statistics, about 1.03 million people participated in the parade on June 9
Photo/ Shutterstock

5. Do you feel this movement will bring any insecurity to Hong Kong?

I feel that Hong Kong does not give me a warm feeling anymore as there are too many tearing at different levels of Hong Kong. That cause me to lose my sense of security to Hong Kong.

I do not think it is safe to stay in Hong Kong because the police can effectively and forcefully enforce the law when they are bullied and mistrusted.

For their own safety, the opponents seem to think that those who are against the bill are bad guys even though those who are neutral. I am also afraid that after I finish talking to you, I will be taken out of the flesh and be called a “traitor”. This is not a joke, the opposition is now very radical, others with different political ideas and even the chief executive (Carrie Lam) who holds a different opinion have been harassed and threatened at home. 

If we do not tell the foreign media what is going on in Hong Kong, it is like being beaten up behind closed doors. This is chilling and infuriating.

Update (02.08.19, Oliver): After particularly violent acts, like the attack of civilians by probably triads, the violence beside this social movement gains more attention.

The police plans to use water throwers, because the protesters have their tactics to deal with teargas quite well. After 8 consecutive weeks of protests an end of the rumors seems far away.