After a successful campaign organized in November 2015 during the UN COP21 Climate Conference in Paris, Subvertisers International called for similar worldwide action between March 22nd and March 25th 2017. The main concept of the #SubvertTheCity anti-advertising movement is to address the role of commercial media in social, economic, and environmental justice by interrogating how it affects shared public media spaces.
Organized as a joint effort by PublicAdCampaign, Brandalism, NoADDay, and like minded organizations, Subvertisers International initiated the #SubvertTheCity project that took place in world capitals including Berlin, London, Paris or New York, but also cities like Buenos Aires, Roma, Warsaw, Casablanca, Teheran, all the way to cities in Uganda and Australia. The dates were chosen as a nod to a group of French activists dubbed the ‘Les Deboulonneurs’ (The Debunkers), who were acquitted of defacing advertising billboards in a symbolic act of civil disobedience on 25th March 2013. Some of the artists that contributed to the project included Escif, Hyuro, Robert Montgomery, Vermibus, John Fekner, Jordan Seiler, David De La Mano, and many more. One of the goals of the campaign was to show the power of individuals when organized against big corporations and blindfolded governments. Aside from bus stop ad takeovers, the actions applied on billboards and metro ads and involved everyone from world renowned artists to individuals or families with children. —Sasha Bogojev