KUNST & CULTUUR

TIP: fotoblog // Humans of New York

Kennen jullie Brandon Stanton al? Op zich is de kans best groot, want zijn fotoblog heeft al ruim 2.7 miljoen volgers op Facebook en bijna een half miljoen op Tumblr. Maar mocht je nog niet eerder van HONY gehoord hebben, dan deel ik bij deze graag mijn favoriete fotoblog met jullie: ik ben sinds begin dit jaar namelijk HONY-hooked!

HONY

In de zomer van 2010 begon Brandon (toen 27 jaar) met Humans of New York (HONY). Zijn idee was een fotografische volkstelling van NYC te creëren, door het maken van 10.000 straatportretten en deze te plotten op een interactieve stadskaart. Na een paar maanden begon HONY echter andere vormen aan te nemen, Brandon begon quotes en anekdotes te verzamelen van de mensen die hij fotografeerde. De combinatie van de portretten met de quotes maakt HONY wat mij betreft zo bijzonder, het geeft je een uniek kijkje in het leven van wildvreemden en de quotes weten me keer op keer weer te verrassen. Uiteraard gaat er achter iedereen die we op straat passeren een verhaal schuil, we worden immers allen gevormd door onze ervaringen. Ondanks dit besef en los van hoe open-minded je bent, merk ik helaas dat stereotype vooroordelen soms ongewild op de loer liggen. En daarom vind ik HONY dus zo inspirerend, want naast hartverwarmende, grappige en soms tranentrekkende portretten/verhalen, herinnert het je bovenal aan de wijsheid: never judge a book by its cover.

Hieronder een kleine greep uit de duizenden portretten (incl. quotes), maar pas op… you’ll probably get hooked too.

hony

“The Russians run an underground fighting league in Coney Island where they pay junkies to fight. I fought about fifty fights for them. They pay you $200 win or lose. They’d always make sure I was real doped up before the fight. I mean they weren’t good people but it did make me feel kinda important to have all those gangsters cheering for me. And they’d always be really happy if I won, because that meant I’d made them money.”

hony

“I was engaged eight years ago, but my fiancee died in Iraq. After that, I promised myself that I’d never be that dependent on someone again. So after I met my husband, I fought marriage for the longest time. But we got married in September. And even though I was rebelling against it, and I always saw it as a meaningless formality, I’ve been surprised. There’s a comfort in knowing that you’re sworn to someone else.”

hony

“My dad was just a working class Irish dude. He drank himself to death when I was fifteen, but he was a good dad when he was sober. I remember him taking me to a gay wedding on Christopher Street to teach me tolerance. And that was back in 1971.”

hony

“I’m around eighty years old. I’m not going to say exactly how old because my friends might see this. But the important thing is to keep moving! I just got back from Carnegie Hall, and yesterday I swam a quarter mile. But that’s nothing. Two years ago I was in Syria when Egypt blew up.”

hony

“I ran away to California for a week without telling anyone. I wanted to remove myself from everything, to see if I could work out some things in my head. But it actually created more problems. I learned it doesn’t really work that way.”
“How do you mean?”
“Just that if you can’t figure out your problems in your present circumstances, you’re probably not going to figure them out by running away from them.”

hony

“Do you remember the saddest moment of your life?”
“When I found out I was wrong about my religious beliefs.”

hony

 “I’m trying to keep the love going in my family.”
“How do you keep love going?”
“Love is a fragile thing. It will dissolve, so you have to recreate it everyday. Everyday you have to give your woman a new reason to love you.”

hony

“When I was 19, my girlfriend and I were going to study in Paris. Our boyfriends came to the docks to see us off. Right as we were getting on the ship, my friend’s boyfriend said to her: ‘If you go, I won’t wait for you.’ So she turned around and decided to stay. My fiancé saw this and told me: ‘I won’t wait for you either.’ I said: ‘Don’t!'”