Anti-Trump notes at train station to stick on in history

NEW YORK • A historical group has begun preserving thousands of sticky notes pasted on the walls of a busy New York City subway station over the past month to lament the election of Mr Donald Trump as the next US president.

Distraught and defiant residents and visitors to the US' largest city - long a Democratic and liberal stronghold - have stuck anonymous messages on the walls of Manhattan's Union Square station since Mr Trump's Nov 8 victory.

Many of the notes express grief or pledge to turn the country towards a more liberal direction.

The New-York Historical Society removed 5,000 of the messages last Friday, putting them between plastic sheets and archiving them in boxes for undetermined future uses.

"We are ever-mindful of preserving the memory of today's events for future generations," the society's president, Dr Louise Mirrer, said in a statement. "Ephemeral items, in particular, created with spontaneity and emotion, can become vivid historical documents."

The society has preserved reactions to other major events, including the legalisation of same-sex marriage and the Sept 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Centre.

The sticky-note installation, known as "Subway Therapy", was the idea of a local artist who brought blank notes and pens to the station under Union Square.

In seeking to preserve a variety of comments, workers took all the notes from a 6m span of wall that had some of the earliest messages posted after the election, said Ms Margaret Hofer, museum director at the New-York Historical Society.

The society may display the notes in the future, although not while the project is still active. "To recreate it in a museum setting now is perhaps a little premature," she said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 18, 2016, with the headline 'Anti-Trump notes at train station to stick on in history'. Print Edition | Subscribe