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Pop-Up Show Puts More than 600 Personal Stories on Display

By Lisha Arino | September 1, 2015 2:55pm
"Evidence of Living," a pop-up show featuring hundreds of pages from the Stranger Project, will open on Sept. 1, 2015.
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Strangers Project

LOWER EAST SIDE — The handwritten personal notes of roughly 600 people across the country will be on display at a pop-up show opening Tuesday night.

The “Evidence of Living” exhibit, located at 103 Allen St., will feature hundreds of pages from the Strangers Project, an ongoing collection of more than 15,000 anonymous “journal entries” collected from individuals of all ages, said founder Brandon Doman.

“I read every single one and I’m still fascinated by the range of stuff people share,” Doman said. “The things that they share, some of them are funny, some of them are emotional, some of them are profound.”

Doman began collecting the handwritten notes in 2009, when he started the project on a whim, driven by his curiosity about other people’s lives. Since then, he has invited strangers at coffee shops and parks to share anything they’d like on one side of a sheet of paper.

Each missive is uploaded and shared online, Doman said, and several of the writings were collected into a book released earlier this year by Harper Design, an imprint of Harper Collins.

“People sharing stories about themselves is very vulnerable,” Doman said, explaining the project’s appeal. “Getting these glimpses into people’s lives helps them feel connected.”

Visitors can check out “Evidence of Living” — and even add their own stories — from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. until Sept. 6.