On the Lower East Side of New York, there are a series of posters, unlike others, that show pictures of people kissing in masks. Art at the time of COVID-19? Maybe. But also a call for unity, while the world is living under the pressure of a pandemic. In a difficult time for New York and around the world, a New Yorker photographer seeks to share love messages.
The Act of Love is a street art campaign in Manhattan and Brooklyn, created by Arina Voronova.
"While scientists are working to find a cure for the virus, we, the common people, can simply share love and support one another," Voronova said.
While many posters have been circulated in New York, many more will be distributed this month. Voronova also seeks to shed light on the discrimination being inflicted on Asian Americans these days.
Many people don’t even cross from Chinatown anymore. Chinese businesses and restaurants have lost 50% of their clientele since the COVID-19 exploded. Meanwhile, Asian Americans have faced violence and hatred.
“The virus has no gender, race or nationality. He is everywhere! We just have to remember that we are all human beings. The project is to remind us what it is like to be a human being. Being able to face the biggest problem in the world at the moment, with love and sympathy, ”the artist said.
After struggling to secure some masks, Voronova approached the couples on the street but also people with children and asked them to participate in her project. He would give them masks and take pictures.
“I wanted to photograph different people, to show New York as diverse as it is. All sexes, relationships, skin colors and types of love, ”she says.
There are dozens of photos on the streets of New York, but Voronova plans to shoot more. One photo shows a couple dressed in the same color as they kiss, another shows two women kissing, while another photo shows a nanny kissing the child she cares for.
The project aims to give another dimension to the COVID-19 numbers we see in the news.
“The goal was to show love and positivity and support all countries, including the US. It turned out that many people liked the idea and many friends were happy to be part of it. After I photographed them, many people told me they were happy to be a part of the change, ”she says.