Humans of New York World Tour: Iraq and beyond
August 9, 2014 5:47 PM   Subscribe

If you visit the Humans of New York website or on the Facebook page now and in the next few months, you'll find portraits and stories from beyond New York. Brandon Stanton and HONY will be going on a "world tour," to be part of the UN's Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group effort to raise awareness for the eight international Millennium Development Goals with a target date of 2015 . Currently, HONY is "suddenly a war report form Iraq".

Previously, Brandon took HONY to Iran for two weeks in 2012.

Previously on MetaFilter:
posted by filthy light thief (13 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
He's the best. Good luck to him on the trip.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:10 PM on August 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

“I photoshopped my head onto a healthy body, to see what I would look like.”

I'm finding it difficuly to read though all these tears.
posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 6:13 PM on August 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

Friends had been reposting Humans of New York posts for a while, and I finally just liked it on Facebook recently so I could follow along. Between reading these accounts from Iraq, everything going on in my hometown right now, the account of the rabbi shot in Miami this morning on the way to temple, and hearing Goldfinger's "99 Red Balloons" cover on the way home this afternoon and nearly losing it, I'm starting to think it might be time for a serious international peace movement.

Maybe this will sound simplistic and unsophisticated, but it's how I feel right now: People need to stop killing each other!
posted by limeonaire at 6:19 PM on August 9, 2014 [7 favorites]

I really respect Brandon for how he's approaching this; how he's open to these people and how he's learning from the experience.
I normally go into my conversations with a set of proven questions to ask, that I find will elicit a wide variety of anecdotes from people’s lives: happiest moment, saddest moment, things like that. But with people fleeing war, it is absolutely impossible to discuss anything beyond the present moment. Their circumstances are so overpowering, there is absolutely zero room in their minds for any other thoughts. The conversation immediately stalls, because any topic of conversation beyond their present despair seems grossly inappropriate. You realize that without physical security, no other layers of the human experience can exist. “All day they do is cry for home,” she told me.
(from this post.)
posted by spindle at 6:37 PM on August 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Following Humans of New York was a small decision that's paid off in my overall life enjoyment. If you're not following it, I highly recommend it.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 6:44 PM on August 9, 2014 [7 favorites]

I really like HONY. Even with some of the controversy it's been in in the past, the people he highlights seem really, really... real.
posted by rebent at 7:20 PM on August 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think this latest evolution of HONY (a wonderful Facebook page) is important work and very good journalism. The humaneness and humanity that is common to all of us is often ignored by the media when reporting on crises, which instead focuses on elites and on broad topics with little room for subtlety.
posted by Nevin at 8:09 PM on August 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

The beautifully human quotes, the empathetic Facebook comments, the creator's humble comments about the World Tour:

The point of the trip is not to “say” anything about the world. But rather to visit some faraway places, and listen to as many people as possible.

I feel like I've stumbled into some distant corner of the Internet where everyone forgot to be anonymously mean because they were too busy trying to understand each other. What an unexpected euphoria.
posted by Avarith at 8:18 PM on August 9, 2014 [8 favorites]

When I was in New York last week, I stalked Brandon Stanton. I had photos of him from the internet clipped on the inside of my guidebook. I really just wanted to meet him and tell him what a great job he was doing. Never saw him, but a lovely friend did point out Bill Cunningham to me.
posted by ColdChef at 8:25 PM on August 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Someone in the comments on Facebook suggested that the site/page deserves a Pulitzer. It would be so cool if that happened for Brandon.
posted by Hermione Granger at 11:12 PM on August 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

posted by argybarg at 12:06 AM on August 10, 2014

I feel like I've stumbled into some distant corner of the Internet where everyone forgot to be anonymously mean because they were too busy trying to understand each other.

This is what I love about it. This is what we need more of in the world. I love HONY so much for this. And for what pleasure it gives me seeing so many of my friends liking the page and sharing stories from it.
posted by crossoverman at 8:09 PM on August 10, 2014

I'm an old guy and a huge Brandon Stanton fan.

I think his posts from Iraq have humanized that country's turmoil and tragedy for me far more than anything I've seen or read elsewhere.

I too, think he ought to have a Pulitzer nomination.
posted by imjustsaying at 10:22 AM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

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