5. “The Perilous Fight” at Nevins Street

abandoned subway station
Photo by Phil America

Gaining access to a guerilla exhibition installed at the abandoned Nevins Street subway station in Brooklyn in 2016 posed a risk of death. The only way to access the platform was to find the right time between trains to run along the active tracks between the Nevins and Hoyt Street stations while avoiding the electrified third rail, an action that is highly discouraged, and illegal.

If one made it safely onto the lower level of the Nevins Street station, one would have seen an arrangement of ten different flags. The flags each represented a mass shooting in America, from Columbine to Sandy Hook and San Bernadino. The design of each flag featured a different gun used in that shooting. The artist behind the exhibition, titled The Perilous Fight, was Phil America, an activist and author of the books Above The Law Volume I: Graffiti on Passenger Trains and Our Side of the Tracks. “For me, it’s about doing good work, not showing in the spaces that already exist,” he said.