While most people attended this year’s Roskilde Festival in Denmark to chill with the music and the vibe, photographer Johanna Siring took it one step further. She wanted to document the free-spirited mentality at the festival, which resulted in a project where she shot portraits of strangers before and after kissing them.
The photographer would approach her subject (no matter the gender or race) to take the first portrait and then after she would explain her idea before asking them for a consensual kiss. Amazingly, people drop their consciously created roles and just become themselves. And there might even be a biological explanation to this: “Kissing sparks all the nerve endings in your lips,” Johanna explains to i-D magazine, “causing a release of dopamine and a surge in oxytocin. It’s an instantaneous stress reliever and creates an immediate emotional bond between two people.”
The New York- based Norwegian artist turned these shots into a series called “Kiss of a Stranger,” through which she wants to communicate how easily we can connect with new people. “We are all just human beings with the same basic instincts. By creating new relationships and learning about the thoughts and ideas of strangers, we might be able to build bridges and combat ignorance and judgement,” Johanna told i-D.