We are fascinating. Each and every one of us. Everywhere, all the time.
Moments of synchronicity, a smile to a passerby, and getting to know a stranger, create connection. Connection gives life meaning. We are all here together. The more we know each other, the more we realize we are never alone in our respective journeys. Our joys, heartaches, and stories, while unique, are also shared. And share we can!
The People are Interesting, is a social experiment to connect, express, and understand our humanity. It is an opportunity to reveal more about us than a first glance can. It is also a thought provoking look at our lives.
The first part of the project consists of four personal questions.
“When are you happiest?”, “What do you love most about yourself?”, “What do you struggle with?”, and “What are you afraid of?”
We all have positive and negative aspects of our lives. An everyday variety of people on the streets in New York City were kind enough to reveal some of these aspects of themselves for this project. After writing their answer on a whiteboard, they posed for a portrait with their response.
The final part of the project, “Compliments from Strangers”, connected to previously unknown people to one another. These strangers were asked to write a compliment about the other, based on first impression. They then exchanged white boards, receiving the other’s compliment, and posed for a portrait together. There is something nice to say about everyone. Think about that.
Similarities in the personal question responses create connection. Complimenting strangers literally connects us in a positive way. This is the purpose of this project, and a fitting way to conclude this experiment.
As you view these questions and photos, I encourage you to contemplate your own personal responses. Are answering some of these questions confronting, insightful, or interesting? I also encourage you to compliment someone you don’t know when you have the urge. It is always appreciated.
I thoroughly enjoyed embarking on this endeavor and all of the people I was able to talk to. I was also encouraged and inspired by the willingness of people to participate and respond to private, personal questions. I sincerely hope you enjoy The People are Interesting, but more importantly, enjoy the people around you.