In 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton began photographing strangers on the streets of New York, asking them a few questions, and sharing their story online. After three years, he put together the Humans of New York (HONY) Facebook page, and as the project grew in popularity, professional and amateur photographers across the world began to replicate the idea with blogs and Facebook pages highlighting photos and stories of people from their regions.
Take a look at how Humans of New York has inspired photographers across South Asian countries.
Since its start on June 1, 2012, the Humans of India Facebook page has attracted more than 108,700 followers and been shared by more than 17,800 people. Megha Majumder, the CEO of Humans of India Facebook page, explained in an interview to Mashable:
There's this word that I fell in love with a while back: sonder. It's the realization that every random passerby is living a life that is as vivid and intricate as your own, complete with their own thoughts, feelings and emotions. And to them, you're just a passing figure on the street, too. Sonder seized my awareness –- people were no longer just strangers
Similar initiatives were taken on by projects like Humans Of Bangalore, Humans of Mumbai, Humans of New Delhi (1, 2), Humans of Hyderabad and Humans of Lucknow. Most of these pages accept crowdsourced submissions.
Humans of Bangladesh is a crowdsourced project that has gained more than 2,050 followers since its start on July 19, 2012.
There is also another new project, started in November 29, 2013, by Bangladeshi photographers also called Humans of Bangladesh, which is followed by more than 4,700 people.
Also available is the Humans of Dhaka page.
The Humans of Maldives Facebook page was launched on August 10, 2013 and is followed by more than 2,300 people.
Inspired by Humans of New York, the Humans of Bhutan page began in September 2012 and has continued to expand its collection of photos one portrait at a time.
The Humans of Nepal page, which began on June 7, 2013, celebrates the cultural, ethnic and religious diversity of Nepal.
It seems that city pages are more popular, such as Humans of Islamabad and Rawalpindi (3,416 followers), Humans Of Kashmir (1,209 Followers), Humans of Sindh (3,521 followers), Humans of Lahore (7,057 followers), and Humans of Karachi (99,647 followers).
Sakina Gheewala wrote a letter to Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton, which was featured in Humans of New York page, explaining how the project had touched her:
My HONY book arrived in Pakistan today. Though it was five months late, it was my favorite birthday present of the year.
In a country where people fight for survival everyday, I'm one of the fortunate few whose biggest worry right now is getting through medical school. In my part of the world, people like me, no matter how much we try to deny it, live in a bubble. And our problems are called “first world problems.” Maybe it will surprise people to see a “Pakistani” so in touch with the Western World. To see something other than the hatred that the world seems to notice radiating from here. But in my little bubble here in Pakistan, I find inspiration in the stories shared on Humans of New York, because they depict more than what the common man perceives. Yes, Pakistan as a nation suffers more than the rest, we do have a billion and one problems, but HONY reminds me that above everything else we are individuals. That just how every Pakistani is not the same, neither is every American. It reminds me to love and respect everybody– something many people here tend to have forgotten. The pictures and stories on HONY almost always make me feel like anything is possible.