Humans of New York è un progetto che ho trovato su Instagram e che mi ha subito affascinato per l’originalità, l’immediatezza e le emozioni che trasmette. L’ideatore è Brandon Stanton (nell’immagine di copertina di questo post), che dal 2010 ha iniziato a creare una sorta di “catalogo” degli abitanti di New York, fotografando oltre 10 mila persone. Il progetto, nel tempo, è mutato e si è trasformato in una vera e propria raccolta di storie che queste persone portavano dentro di loro.
Tutte insieme, queste citazioni o queste storie sono diventate un blog con oltre otto milioni di follower sui social media e ne è stat fatto anche un libro. Un’idea semplice, dietro la quale però si cela tutta la complessità del genere umano. Una complessità in cui ci si riflette e con cui si piange, si ride, ci si commuove, ci si indigna. Tutti insieme.
Grande plauso all’ideatore, quindi, che grazie alla sua passione e alla sua curiosità ci porta a riconsiderare l’umanità intera, non solo quella newyorkese…
Provare per credere: trovate Humans of New York anche su Facebook, su Twitter e sul blog.
(Foto tratte dal blog di Brandon: cliccate sulle foto per leggere la didascalia intera)
“I met a man who I wanted to be like. He was professional, independent, married. All that ‘Leave It To Beaver’ shit. I was a bit of a loner at the time, so I really latched on to him. We’d play basketball, and bowl, and go to movies. We’d hang out almost every night. But then at some point he disappeared for two months. So I decided to go looking for him. I went to his house, and knocked, and kept ringing the bell, but nobody was answering. Then finally after a few minutes he opened the door, and the house was filled with smoke, and there were two naked chicks behind him, and I liked what I saw. I didn’t go inside right then, but I thought about if for a couple days, and finally decided to go back. I didn’t try crack until I was forty years old. And I only did it because I was lonely and needed acceptance.”
“I want to be in musical theater, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to go to auditions. I want to make my parents proud and validate their faith in me, but every time I talk to them, they ask me if I’ve gotten a show yet, and every time I have to tell them ‘no.’ And it’s hard to not feel foolish when you keep trying something and it doesn’t work out. I have a day job to support me while I go to auditions. But now I’m working there more than I’m auditioning, and I’m scared that I’m falling into a routine. I see a lot of people settle into a routine where nothing really upsets them, but nothing really excites them either. And I’m afraid that’s happening to me.”
“This better not be for a porno. I stopped doing those.””OK, Mother. That’s enough.”
“We dated for six months in college, while I was on an exchange program in Japan. Then we lost touch. For ten years.”
“When I was six years old, I had a vision where I saw everything that was going to happen in my life. Jesus showed me that my life was going to be very tough, but if I stuck with him, and prayed, and cried when I needed to, and ate lots of chocolate, I’d be OK.””Where were you when you had this vision?””At the feet of my foster mother. She was kicking me in the stomach.”
“When she got to be around eighteen or nineteen, I saw that she had talent as a writer. So I stopped telling her she was wonderful, and started telling her what I thought.”
“She’s much more anxious than I am. The way I look at things— if the problem is important enough that it will affect us tomorrow, then we need to deal with it. Otherwise, we should let it roll off our shoulders. She thinks that if it’s going to affect our next minute, then it needs to be addressed right now.”
“I’d probably feel more loved and respected if I was better at conversation. When you’re good at conversation, people are always giving you feedback. People listen to you and smile and laugh at what you say. It’s easy to know that you are liked. Because I’m shy, I’m always nervous that people don’t like me. I worry that they think I’m stupid because it might seem like I don’t have anything to say. It’s especially tough in large groups, because then I don’t feel pressured and it’s easier for me to sit back and let other people talk. But then afterwards I feel like I didn’t participate, and I feel even more isolated.”
“He had a four centimeter tumor removed from the frontal lobe of his brain. He cries a lot now. He never used to cry, but I’ve probably seen him cry twenty times since the surgery. He always says, ‘You’ll never know what’s happening inside of my head.’ He’s still good with my name, but he’s forgotten a lot of others. He tells the same old stories over and over. He’s best at remembering things that happened a long time ago, so I think he clings to those things.“
“I’m just waiting for summer.”
“I’m trying to instill morals in my three year old son, but I don’t want him to be afraid of me. We were shopping over the holidays, and he started to run away from me into the crowd, so I yelled at him. And he started crying when we got home and he told his mom that Daddy yelled at him. And that hurt to see. It’s easy to scream first, especially when you think your child is in danger, because you’re looking for that instant stoppage. But afterwards I always try to get on the ground and explain to him that I was just scared for him.”
“I thought having kids would magically transform me into a mother, who had no problem doing laundry, or cooking, or keeping house. But I ended up still being me, just with children now.”
“I recently found out that a lot of kids at school don’t like me.”
“We’re getting married tomorrow. For tax purposes.”
“My parents put me in a home for retarded people.”
“I wish I could be remembered through my work, but it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen at this point. I sell what I can to keep up with the rent. It’s like a huge rock is chained to my leg and keeps pulling me into the ocean. As long as I keep struggling, I’ll be OK. But the moment I stop, I’ll sink.”
“She’s much more empathetic than I am. When our son was very sick with cancer, she had a much better sense for what he was going through. And I relied on that. Because I didn’t know, but I wanted to know.”
“It seems that most children in America are encouraged to follow their dreams. But my parents are immigrants. And in China, most children are expected to choose a path that will help provide for the needs of their family. I enjoy music. But it’s difficult to go my own way without feeling coldhearted, or estranged.”