Press Photograph: ACT UP's First Kiss-in

Press Photograph: ACT UP's First Kiss-in


Donna Binder, “St. Patrick’s Cathedral, NYC. 2 Women Kiss in front of St. Patrick’s at a Valentine’s Day ‘Kiss-in’ which turned out 75 Kissers/protestors. The Kissers were threatened with arrest if they did not move across the street from the Cathedral. The Kiss-in what another action in response to Card. O’Connor’s anti-gay bigotry.” February 12 1988. 

A beautiful photograph, crisp and clean and in very good condition.

This photo documents ACT UP’s first kiss-in in 1988, a form of direct action “zapping” that the organization invented and used elsewhere, most famously St. Vincent’s Hospital. The same year this photo was taken, the design collective within ACT UP, Gran Fury, circulated posters “READ MY LIPS,” as part of the National Spring AIDS Action ’88 campaign, containing an article “Why We Kiss:” “WE KISS in an aggressive demonstration of affection.” Donna Binder, the photographer, was a member of ACT UP who photographed many of their actions, but also participated in the kiss-ins in her own right.

50% of proceeds to ACT UP NYC.

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This photograph comes from the collection of Impact Visuals, a New York-based cooperative photo agency dedicated to documenting social justice movements, including the anti-apartheid movement in both the United States and South Africa, and the independent movement in Namibia. Impact Visuals was founded by Michael Kaufman and operated from 1980s until its closure in 2001. These seven photos span the height of Impact Visuals’ activity, between 1987-1994, and document protestors in New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and even a protest of one in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Each photograph has contact information for Impact Visuals, and details about its photographer, subject, and date of creation, taped to it as is usual for the collections of photo agencies.