A new look for CU shuttle train
Chittagong University's (CU) main means of transport for thousands of students, the shuttle train -- gets a fresh coat of paint in the form of graffiti.
Lukas Zeilinger, a Berlin artist, started painting the shuttle train last Thursday. The project was interrupted several times due to rain.
There is no fixed theme for the graffiti, although there are many influences of Bangladeshi culture -- seasonal flowers, the Bengal tiger and one coach has the Sundarbans written on it. However, the Bangladesh Railway logo and coach number were kept untouched.
The graffiti's funding has been borne by the artist himself, and the spray cans used for the painting are sponsored by "Molotow", a paint company.
Lukas Zeilinger's style features vehicles as a medium for his art. He said while most people traditionally experience art in museums, by using vehicles as a medium, the art visits the people.
"It all started back in 2019. I taught in a slum school for a few months and a train was always passing through the place. That's when I came to the idea of doing it," he told The Daily Star.
"I came here from Berlin to introduce this art form, which Bangladesh isn't very seasoned with. The main idea of this graffiti is that we use the train as a moving canvas," he added.
"The university shuttle is the perfect canvas for graffiti because I want to reach out mostly to young people," he further added.
Arup Barua, a guest lecturer in CU's Dramatics department, took the initiative and worked as an associate on the project.
Arup said, "Lukas first visited our university in 2019 and he was thinking about what we can do. I approached him for our shuttle train. Then I convinced the university and railway authorities. We aimed to introduce students to graffiti art."
Students were also excited to see this new change.
Mrittika, a third-year student, said, "I hope the other parts of the campus will be also painted by our students. However, the authorities should also take steps to improve the overall shuttle experience."
Adnan Hossain, a fourth-year student in the Chemistry department, said, "This is a happy moment for us, but the intolerable heat due to lack of fans inside the compartments might fade this feeling."