Two lovers in the act of kissing (most people might like to do this), one spitting into the mouth of the other one (some might like this, others might find it offensive) – Whatever may float one’s boat, we all have lived through one and a half years of limitations on the physical side.


In early summer of 2021, when a comeback of the physical world full of meeting people, getting together (in every sense of the word) and enjoying life has been around the corner, it was about time for two of Vienna’s shining players of the creative scene to join forces: Photographer Maša Stanic aka Mafia Mashi and Forward Festival collaborated and created a controversial poster campaign using an original photo by Mashi, originally from pre-corona times, to encourage people to choose life (and get vaccinated).



Mafia Mashi, known for very on-point, rather provocative, and extremely eye-catching photos like this one, and Forward Festival wanted to encourage people across Vienna and beyond to push the reset button and to safely start their lives again after times of lockdowns. The posters feature a classic Maša picture, fat red letters saying “Choose Life” printed on it and the words “Get vaccinated” alongside the spit from one mouth to the other – a call to action boosting responsibility in order to enjoy life, however one may like, without limitations.


“The creative scene has suffered a lot during Covid – no events, no exhibitions, no exchange. After overcoming those challenging times, we want to send a sign that it’s time again to be bold, to dare to live the life of one’s dream and to start creating visions again”, Othmar Handl, founder of Forward describes the idea behind the project.



The posters were up all around Vienna in those post-lockdown times, heralding the comeback of physical life (in a literal sense), including the big reunion of the creative scene at Forward Festival Vienna – with an onstage talk by Maša Stanic.