“How’s that for making love, not war”

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This image was snapped during Vancouver’s hockey riots by Canadian photographer Richard Lam. We see a young couple laid out on the street, embraced in a tender kiss, amid all the chaos and devastation surrounding them.

Once the photograph hit the internet, it became a viral phenomenon in minutes – appearing in the media, shared on Facebook and tweeted around the world. Moreover, it has been compared to other historical kisses like Robert Doisneau’s ‘The Kiss’ and Alfred Eisenstadt’s picture of a kissing couple in Times Square on VJ day.’[1]

Photographer Lam said, “I knew I had captured a moment when I snapped the still forms against the backdrop of such chaos but it wasn’t until later when I returned to the rink to file my photos that my editor pointed out that the two people were not hurt, but kissing”.[2]

Douglas Haddow subsequently commented that, ‘the last thing we expected was an authentically romantic picture to emerge from this rioting city of glass’.[3] The photograph therefore captures a moment ‘even amongst the carnage that descended on Vancouver after the city’s hockey team lost the Stanley Cup final, that romance won out.’[4]

 


[1] Haddow, Douglas. (2011, 17th June). Vancouver’s kiss of life. The Guardian. Retrieved from  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jun/17/vancouver-kiss-rioting

[2] Rushe, Dominic. (2011, 17th June). Vancouver kiss couple ‘were knocked down by riot police. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/jun/17/vancouver-kiss-couple-riot-police

[3] Haddow, Douglas. (2011, 17th June). Vancouver’s kiss of life. The Guardian. Retrieved from  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jun/17/vancouver-kiss-rioting

[4] Daily Mail Reporter. (2011, 17th June). Someone fetch the cold water cannon: Couple pictured kissing in the middle of Vancouver riot. The Daily Mail Online. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2004648/Vancouver-riot-Couple-pictured-kissing-middle-goes-viral.html

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