Brandon Stanton, the visionary behind the acclaimed “Humans of New York” project, has broken his silence regarding the India-based storytelling platform, “Humans of Bombay” (HoB). Stanton’s statement, shared on X (formerly Twitter), acknowledges the appropriation of his work by HoB while underscoring the significance of the stories they disseminate. His decision to speak out has ignited a conversation about the evolution of storytelling in the digital age.
Born on March 1, 1984, in Marietta, Georgia, Brandon Stanton is a multifaceted American author, photographer, and blogger. He gained international acclaim through his brainchild, “Humans of New York” – a captivating fusion of photography and narrative. This pioneering photoblog and book have resonated with audiences worldwide.
Stanton’s journey commenced in 2010, when he embarked on a mission to capture the essence of New York City’s diverse inhabitants. Armed with his camera, he ventured into the city’s bustling streets, documenting the lives and stories of its residents through striking portraits and snippets of their conversations.
Not confined to the boundaries of the United States, Stanton’s lens has traversed more than 20 countries, including Iran, Iraq, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Mexico. His work transcends borders, illuminating the universal human experiences that unite us all.
Stanton’s trajectory from a bond trader in Chicago to a celebrated photographer in New York City is a testament to his unwavering commitment to his craft. His journey began with the purchase of a camera, followed by weekends spent capturing the essence of Chicago. After a job loss, Stanton pivoted, opting to pursue photography full-time.
In New York City, he set an audacious goal: photographing 10,000 New Yorkers and mapping their portraits across the city. This endeavor, funded by unemployment checks and the support of friends and family, ultimately gave birth to the “Humans of New York” Facebook page in November 2010. Stanton’s portraits evolved from mere images to poignant narratives, with captions and quotes gradually morphing into full-fledged interviews.
Recently, Stanton addressed the issue of creative appropriation by Humans of Bombay, a storytelling platform based in India. While they borrowed his ideas, monetizing the concept he pioneered, Stanton opted to remain silent until now. His decision to finally speak out has sparked a vital conversation about the ethical dimensions of digital storytelling and the importance of crediting and preserving original creative endeavors.