First there was Humans Of New-York. A simple Facebook page, soon followed by a blog, on which a young photographer would publish pictures of anonymous people that he met while wandering around in New York. And as a result, a series of portraits displaying with lots of kindness and benevolence the many faces of urban residents. And a huge media success : 16 million followers on Facebook, 5 million on Instagram.
Now it is our turn. Except that Senlis, even including neighbouring villages, is not one of those vast and densely populated metropolises. It is a place where chances are that anyone you meet in the street is someone you know, even remotely. It is a territory that thrives not from the sheer number of people living there, but from the depth of personal commitment that each and every one of its inhabitants feels towards the community.
So there it is : Humans Of Senlis is a collection of portraits, both photographs and texts, that tell the story of our city through the deeds and hopes of its people.
Doing this, we aim to celebrate the richness and diversity of personal journeys that meet here ; show how this addition of individual talents builds the collective spirit of our city ; and finally demonstrate that in spite of all the talk describing France as a country stricken by economic decline and social frustration, the grassroot reality is completely different, teeming with collective and individual endeavours, and dreams, and causes to which people are prepared to dedicate the best of their time and efforts.
Behind the scenes of Humans Of Senlis is a team of volunteers. Some of them conduct interviews, write articles or take photographs. Others translate the portraits into English for the sake of making them accessible to non-French speakers. Still others take care of the inner workings of our project and spend their time organizing, coordinating and supporting the team’s efforts.
Here is a short index of who is who and who does what.