The site Humans of New York became an international sensation using a very simple premise that is as old as the ages: human stories.
The dreams, inspirations, heartbreak and fear of New York residents, accompanied by a photograph portrait of each person, captured the imaginations of thousands simply because we got to know some of the people we rush by on the street and stand beside in silence on the subway.
If there’s anything the Irish do well, however, it’s spin a good yarn. So, not to be outdone by the creativity of New Yorkers, Humans of Dublin parallels the New York site with stories and pictures of our own, showcasing the people who inhabit Ireland’s capital city.
Peter Varga is a 27-year old photography student from Budapest, Hungary. Inspired by Humans of New York, he began the Irish strain of the phenomenon last year. Varga moved to Dublin seven years ago, attended a photography course in Institute of Photography – Ireland, and started the project.
“At first it was very challenging to approach random strangers on the street,” he says.
“I would go around and around the same block until I gathered the courage to approach someone. But after a while it became more comfortable and now it's second nature.”
“There are lonely and they need to talk to someone, sometimes it’s really great to sit down and talk to someone,” Varga says of the people who feature on his page.
“Through this I've met so many lovely humans and I've had the honor of listening to their wonderful stories. I don’t need to walk hours for a great story, there are so many around us and we walk by them every day not knowing.”
The posts are certainly a whirlwind of emotions, bringing a tear to your eye one minute and leaving you completely taken aback the next.
Here are some of our favorites:
This woman endured the bus journey from hell while backpacking through Africa.
“When I looked up I saw a guy with a big long gun who had shot the driver in the chest. He lined us all up, and I remember, the only thing I said out loud was ‘sweet Jesus don't let him shoot us!’”
Was it simply a coincidence or a guardian angel that kept this man alive the day he fell from a fishing boat in bad weather?
“It was dangerous to stay too close to the boat in that type of weather, so I spent about half an hour in the water, until eventually I could hold on to the rope and they could pull me back. I came very close to losing my life that day.”
This lovely gentleman tells us of coping with the death of his wife and and growing tomatoes.
“A few months later my neighbors arrived with a box of tomato plants, about 12 little sprouts, and he said they're not giving up on me. I was looking down at these little sprouts and thinking how the hell I’m going to plant them if I can’t even bend down anymore.”
This woman tells us her tale of escaping an unhappy relationship.
“I never accepted losing my childlike dreams and hopes. I'm still a child, but I'm mature at the same time, because I had to protect my dreams.”
Importance of family
This man has his priorities in order.
“I’m a solicitor and I have never had a mobile phone.”
This man went above and beyond for his father when learning of his illness.
“When I look at the overall relationship with my father, we've had our ups and downs, but having such a beautiful memory where you can see you're losing somebody, and then they just come back, was very special.”
Among the many visitors to Dublin who enjoy themselves a bit too much.
Is there any greater place than Dublin on a sunny day?
Struggling on Dublin streets
Dublin isn’t all fun and games, however.
“When I became homeless they told me to give her away or else I can’t sleep in the hostel, and this is why all my things are in this trolley. It makes my life much more difficult, but she's the only thing left in my life."
“I'm just waiting for big money. After I get it, I'll go back to England and I'll change my life."
"Where do you expect that money from?"
"I gamble, on horses. I feel it, you know? The big money's coming!"
You can see more from Humans of Dublin here.