Berlin: Trainwriting and Graffiti culture versus the BVG

Berlin: Trainwriting and Graffiti culture versus the BVG

They roll day in, day out. And day in and out wear colorful Graffiti on their panels. 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, graffiti statistically affects every subway – every 2 months. Calculated down to approximately one month, this amounts to around 650 graffiti per month for a pool of around 1300 cars.

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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 notice the rise in paintings on their trains.

This article is available in German and French.

Paris: Graffiti-Eldorado at subway line 12

Paris: Graffiti-Eldorado at subway line 12

Paris subway line 12 – Colortime
While the adventurous used to travel to the Wild West in search of adventure, gold and wealth, today the most diverse graffiti artists and vandals are drawn to Paris. The reason?
The metro line 12 which crosses the city from the northern Banlieue Aubervilliers to the southern, Issy-les-Moulineaux. No matter if a graffiti on the Metro per day or five. In the train-yards of the 12 reigns a gold rush atmosphere.
In the search for the color on the panels of the Paris-Metro:
Graffiti OLMS Paris Metro Ligne 12
The subway line enjoys great popularity with the numerous local and international graffiti crews. From Reis (Lisbon) to RWS & ORF (Bonn) the wicked line 12 is a pilgrimage place of the Paris graffiti-scene.
And sometimes also an expression of their anonymous world of thoughts (“and how many times of misery and evil…”).

Et combien de saisons de misere et de galere…

Popular among the sprayers for its design are the MF67 models, which celebrated their first appearance between 1967 – 1978. The previously used Sprague-Thompson trains were replaced and the new models got introduced. The name derives from “Métro Fer appel d’offre 1967” (Iron-Métro call 1967). The Line 12 has 50 of the 138 MF-67 models in service.

The blue-green-white painting is typical for these older models of the Paris Métroparks. In the graffiti scene, world-famous for its graffiti aesthetics, it regularly draws crews from all over the world into the underground shafts of the Line 12 somewhere in the north of Paris. In the photo below you can see a graffiti of the Portuguese “Reis” crew. These are from Lisbon and means translated “kings”.

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