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A Kickstarter project filled a London subway station with photos of cats

A London-based art collective has achieved its aim of filling an entire subway station with photos of cats.

It’s true. Go to Clapham Common tube station in south London in the next two weeks and you’ll see that all the poster ads, yes, all 68 of them, have been replaced with enormous pictures of the adorable furry animal.

It may sound like an odd thing to do (because it is an odd thing to do), but the group that dreamed up the Kickstarter-funded project – titled the Citizens’ Advertising Takeover Service (CATS, of course) – actually put some serious thought into the idea.

The cat-loving collective, called Glimpse, said it wanted to give people a break from the constant barrage of advertising they’re subjected to daily on their commute.

“Wouldn’t it be great not to worry about the holiday we can’t afford, the car we don’t need, or the body we don’t have?” the team said on its Kickstarter page, adding, “Imagine a world where public spaces made you feel pawsitive.”

Enough folks out there clearly loved the idea, their pledges propelling Glimpse to its $30,000 funding target.

And this week the station opened with all 68 ads replaced by cute cat photos throughout the subterranean train stop. It’s fair to say that in its 153-year history, the London Underground has never seen anything like it.

“We hope people will come down, enjoy it, and experience the station,” Glimpse founder James Turner told the London Standard. “But more importantly, [we hope they’ll] think about how things that are fixed and really hard to change can be changed if people work together.”

In a blog post, Turner elaborated, “It’s important to say that we’re not against advertising. We need creativity more than ever, to open our eyes to new ways of looking at the world and thinking about our place within it.

“We want agencies and brands to be mindful of the power they wield and to use it to encourage positive values in society. Things like empathy and tolerance, community and togetherness deserve to be at the heart of our culture.”

As for the stars of the project, they were all photographed at two local cat charities, with many of them having since found new homes. We’ll resist calling it a purr-fect ending to a meow-velous tale.

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Trevor Mogg
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