I’ve always loved seeing Humans of New York posts on my newsfeed because the photos are beautiful, and the people are all wonderfully thoughtful and intelligent while being from super diverse backgrounds. The blog is a place for optimism, as it showcases the best parts of people and regularly raises money for causes through community funding platforms (e.g. Mott Hall Bridges Academy).
Recently, I read a really good article in the New Yorker that made me take a more critical look at HONY. Some of my favorite quotes from this article are:
“Stanton’s all-encompassing title implies a vague, flattening humanism, too quick to forget the barriers erected—even here, and now, in New York—against real equality…The money for Mott Hall Bridges Academy makes us feel good—and why not?—but there are many other schools, and they are part of the same unequal system.”
“The humans in Stanton’s photos—just like the most photogenic and happy-seeming and apparently knowable humans in your timeline—are well and softly lit, almost laminated; the city recedes behind them in a still-recognizable blur. We understand each entry as something snatched from right here, from someplace culturally adjacent, if not identical, to the watcher’s world; there’s a sense (and, given Stanton’s apparent tirelessness, a corresponding reality) that this could just as easily be you, today, beaming out from the open windowpane of someone else’s news feed. Any ambiguity or intrigue to be found in a hony photo is chased out into the open, and, ultimately, annihilated by Stanton’s captions, and by the satisfaction that he seems to want his followers to feel.”
Read the full article here: http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/humans-of-new-york-and-the-cavalier-consumption-of-others?mbid=social_facebook_aud_dev_kwjunsub-humans-of-new-york&kwp_0=229470&kwp_4=873095&kwp_1=426885