- Text by Michael Segalov
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that in 72 countries it’s still illegal to engage in same-sex sexual activity. That it’s punishable with prison sentences or even death for people of the same gender to be together.
This year might mark fifty years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England, but we’ve a long way to go until people of all genders and sexualities are free to be who they are, to express themselves openly, to show signs of love, lust or affection in public without fear here too.
It’s why photographer Sam Bradley shot ‘Kiss With Pride’, a photo series created in conjunction with Absolut vodka – an unashamed, in your face celebration of the most primal and carnal act of lust: snogging.
“I was drawn to the Kiss With Pride campaign because the idea was so pure,” explains Bradley. “I knew I had to be involved, it’s quite rare for advertising to be for a cause without it feeling disingenuous. This felt absolutely natural and true.”
The series, which has been exhibited in the Houses of Parliament and at Brighton Pride, isn’t just about joy though, Bradley also hopes his work will get people talking. “The more people see these images the better,” he explains, “and not just in progressive cities.” I would really like the images to reach people outside of that bubble and to start a constructive conversation.”
These heartwarming shots of expressions of love and lust should leave you all fuzzy, if you’re feeling uncomfortable then it’s time to step back and think about why you’re offended by a simple kiss.