Humans of New York comes to Jakarta to tell stories of hope, heartbreak and determination

All photos: Brandon Stanton / Human of New York
All photos: Brandon Stanton / Human of New York

Humans of New York is the incredibly popular photoblog started by photographer Brandon Stanton in 2010 and featuring his street portraits and interviews with people from all walks of life. With over 25 million followers between Facebook and Instagram, the scope of HONY has grown far beyond the confines of New York City and Stanton has traveled far and wide to tell the tales of “humans” in many other places all over the world.

Recently, Stanton came to the Indonesian capital of Jakarta to photograph and share the stories of a few of the 10 million or so people who live here. With his trademark sympathy and respect for each human’s struggle, he managed to draw out a number of deeply moving tales from the Big Durian.

Below are a few of our favorites, but you should definitely check out HONY’s website, Facebook or Instagram pages to see all of them (Stanton is currently posting stories of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, so be sure to check that out as well).

“She gave me a bit of a side look. I thought I’d messed up.”
“If my brothers and I ever started crying, she’d tell us: ‘If I’m strong enough to do this, you’re strong enough to go to school.’”


“I have no interest in taking revenge.”


“My family thought she was losing her mind, but I think she was just lonely in the dark.”


“But what can we do? We can’t go against the rules of God.”


“You don’t have to force them to believe. But you must force them to study.“


“When I watch her, I feel like she can do anything.”
If you want to read more of these kinds of stories, there are also several similar photoblog projects based out of the capital including Humans of Jakarta and our personal favorite, We Are Jakarta (come back soon please guys!)


Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!

Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply


Support local news and join a community of like-minded
“Coconauts” across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Join Now
Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on