In the city of São Paulo a lot of couples kiss in public spaces, especially in the subway.

This city is the largest and most densely populated place of the southern hemisphere: it is also known as the Cidade da Garoa. The Garoa is a fine and quite invisible drizzle. It seems that the drops are floating in the atmosphere rather than falling down from the sky. For this reason, the majority of its inhabitants think the main problems of the city are weather, deslocamento and segurança.

The “deslocamento” is connected to all the hours lost moving across its different districts. In fact, Sao Paulo is a huge megalopolis where, if you want to have a good life, you should work and find a girlfriend in the same neighborhood where you live. Probably, for this reason, a lot of couples give passionate kisses in the subway because they do not really know if they will have the chance to meet again.

Furthermore, São Paulo is perceived as a very dangerous place. A city where the roads are full of poor people and the skies are overcrowded by helicopters; assaults and robberies happen every day; being attacked is so common that this practice has almost become ritualized, even if it is rare to be hurt. However, the subway is perceived as a place where you can let your guard down and get involved in a passionate kiss, as if the world outside does not exist.

Metropolitan kisses are a key to open the door of this city, depicting its various shades and contradictions.

—Luca Meola

Luca Meola was one of the 31 winners and finalists of the LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2015! We are proud to present the work of these photographers who show us why street photography today remains as fresh and vibrant as ever!