The project Humans of Hanoi was set up by a group of 6 members who are studying and working in Hanoi and 1 member studying in Australia. The project is conducted following the famous project in the world called “Human of New York”.
The human of Hanoi team. There are not only Vietnamese youngsters.
Before Tet of 2013, the group started their work by wandering to all the corners of Hanoi to realize their idea. The group leader Tran Quang Tuan said “behind a people, there is always a story which we can only know by contacting them. A nice story does not lie on the appearance of the teller, but on their willingness. Thus, talking to a person is often a big challenge.”
Not so long after being posted on Facebook, the pictures of Humans of Hanoi received almost 40,000 like and share. The group is organizing an exhibition with over 300 photos. The portrait of a true Hanoian, a poor worker, a motor taxi driver, a whore or a tourist appear truly on the photos. Together with each photos, there are stories of the characters written in Vietnamese and English which make a multi-dimensional Hanoi outstanding in the eyes of visitors. The purpose of the project is to retain the simple moments of life of the people who are living or working in Hanoi, or who are just dropping to visit this city.
An impressive picture: An old man in a park.
The process of realizing the project has also brought the group members lots of fun and happiness. “Some people are difficult to talk to, to open their heart and not all the people we talked agree to be taken a photo by us. Thus, it is really a great happiness to get a nice photo as well as a good story”, said Quang Tuan. During the time with this project, Tuan said that one of his most memorable memories is when he came to visit a small poor resident area at Phuc Xa, Long Bien. It is a range of small cottages in low standards for poor workers. A women at the aged of above 50 named Chinh coming from Hung Yen has been earning their living here for many years by trading wrong and rotten fruits. When being asked by Tuan that “what is your best happiness in life?” she said that it is the successful of 3 children. Her 2 elder chids got scholarship and are studying in foreign countries and the youngest chid is studying at a famous university in Hanoi.
Their topics can be every ones with private stories.
Long – 23 years old is an active member if Humans of Hanoi. He often takes the photos of street children, workers coming from other provinces, people suffered from HIV or homosexual people.
He said that the work has given him the understanding of many dark corners of Hanoi. “A night when I drive motorbike on Chuong Duong Bridge, I saw a girl standing alone on the bridge handrail. In my opinion, she is going to kill herself by jumping down, so I stopped to comfort her. After being comforted, she told her story after more than half an hour of crying”. The girl then came back home and the photo in which a girl standing in the middle of night with some explanation has attracting many people.
Leader Quang Tuan shares that the group is planning to expand their project to other big cities including Ho Chi Minh and Danang. The work would not be as difficult as there are many young people interested in this idea.