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Forgive me, subway rider, for I have sinned: Torontonians confess secrets

Commuters using the TTC subway in Toronto Mar. 26, 2012.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

"I love my cat more than my boyfriend. I'm in love with my ex. I wet the bed. I gave up my child."

How much would you confess to an absolute stranger? How about to a subway platform full of strangers?

Few people even converse with people they don't know on public transit – let alone let each other in on their worst behaviours. But starting next week, every 10 minutes on 300 Toronto subway platforms, a series of video confessions will be played in more than 60 stations – all in the name of art.

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The project is Confessions Underground, which calls itself part art project, part social experiment. The videos will show the confessed's face, but no name – and will air across platforms from July 2 to 15.

Mobile confessional booths also went to Montreal and Buffalo to hear strangers' secrets.

Some are kind of funny ("I fart when I get nervous"), others are heart wrenching ("I can't go a day without using heroin.")

Secret telling can be very successful, from a business perspective: Remember the skyrocketing Catholic app, called Confession? It allowed users to confess their sins – and quickly became one of Apple's 25 most downloaded smartphone applications. The Vatican quickly nixed it – there's no app to substitute a confessional, the Pope decried.

The subway project is reminiscent of the PostSecret project of 2007 fame, where anonymous readers sent in over 2-million postcards to founder Frank Warren, who quickly turned them into an incredibly popular book series.

So Toronto subway riders, get ready to cue the Usher and hear strangers secrets.

If you dare, you can submit your video confessionals here.

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Would you do this? And is this art, or just sensational time-killing TV?

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About the Author
Editor in the Opinion section

Amberly McAteer is an editor in the Opinion section at The Globe and Mail. She has been a homepage editor, online editor and community editor in Features - including Life, Travel, Style, Arts and Books. She's written columns about her quest to run a 10K and find the perfect dog. More


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