Solidarity Underground, Subway Therapy: Actions

November 10, 2016

In the corridor under 6th and 7th adventures, between the L train and 123 trains, people are grieving, sharing, and contemplating the results of the election. Some are stopping to read, others to talk to and console one another.

Facilitated by Subway Therapy (website | instagram), the overwhelming majority of the messages left on the wall are feminist, anti-racist, pro-immigration, and generally despairing. This could the result of the nature of the people who wanted to participate, which could be the nature of New Yorkers who overwhelmingly voted in support of Hillary.

A young man in a button down shirt and tie, just a kid, really, expressed and exposed his fear to Levee, creator of Subway Therapy, and thanked him, offering and getting a hug in return. The hundreds of notes attached to the wall (Levee had said earlier there were 2,000+ after yesterday's count) gave him hope, the kid said.

"It's a very vulnerable moment and everyone's photographing it," Levee said.

I mean, I hadn't been up to that point. Didn't seem right to exploit the moment without knowing the repercussions of taking/posting a shot. I have no idea what this kid's feeling or specifically why he's afraid for or of. There are so many possible reasons. Would making it public make it worse?

Wait, was that a cue to shoot? I shot and then put the camera down. The kid turned around. Cameras on him. Silence. Nobody is participating, just documenting.

"Stay strong, man," I said.

"Thanks, man," the kid said.

He weaved through the onlookers and into the opposing flow of commuters.

"You should ask for his permission," Levee said, addressing the lot of us with cameras. 

I turned around to the kid now behind me.

Making eye contact with me, "yeah, go ahead," the kid said.

To make things more readable for folks visiting, I've separated the posts of the writing activity from the messages left behind. The other half of this series is here

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