The Strangers Project
The Strangers Project is a collection of over 20,000 anonymous true stories written as “journal entries” on the spot by passing strangers. I ask people to write about anything they want—as long as it’s true. The result is a mosaic of stories from the lives happening around us at every moment.
The project is a physical and moving space that invites people to stop, be curious, and eventually hand-write a story—any story—from their lives in a moment of spontaneous intimacy. For those that choose to share stories, the project is about creating pathways and architecture for people to open up organically without being prompted or feeling any requirement or responsibilities of what they are supposed to share. For those that choose to read, I believe that the experience creates a palate for understanding and empathizing with people—especially those stories we might not otherwise hear. In the end, the stories in the Strangers Project are not necessarily just a way to be entertained but as a way connect with other people through our experiences.
These are our friends, our families, and people we’ve never spoken to. Every moment billions of stories are unfolding—this is a glimpse into some of those things we may normally not notice. These are our lives. I believe that when people are given the opportunity to have a voice we can explore the connections that make us human. Every day we visit work, school, cities and businesses. We sit next to one another on trains, on buses and in cars. We take care of our families and friends, and of ourselves. Every day, we choose what we expose to one another.
It’s our capacity for being human that is truly our greatest equalizer. For a moment, it doesn’t matter if you’re a business person, a student, a homeless person, a secretary, a teacher, a child, a doctor, a traveler, a mother or a father—we all share something common. We can be people and we can invite those around us in, and for a moment, we can share something real. Every person that you pass on the street has a story to share. We are all just waiting for the right time for someone else to listen.
The Strangers Project book, What's Your Story?: True Experience from Complete Strangers is a Hardcover compilation of stories published by HarperCollins. The book features 200 stories in the original handwriting, as well as an introduction by Brandon and a foreword by Frank Warren, the founder of PostSecret. Learn more here!
Interested in joining the Strangers Project team? Learn more here.
PeopleThe Strangers Project Founder Brandon Doman Wants to Know Your Story
CCTV AmericaThe Strangers Project: Collecting the stories of strangers
PBS NewshourThe art is in the truth-telling of 'The Strangers Project'
HooplaHaCurious New Yorker Connects With Strangers Through Anonymous Stories
The NY Daily NewsTales of the city: New Yorkers have an endless variety of stories, and a surprising willingness to tell them
American Voices w/ Senator Bill BradleyShow 404 (Interview)
PaperMagStrangers Project Founder Brandon Doman Knows New Yorkers' Secrets
Like Knows LikeBrandon Doman (Video Profile)
Elephant JournalI Want Your Story. (Yes, Yours.)