'Humans of Milwaukee' Captures Stories of City

How do you tell the story of Milwaukee?

For Mario Sinclair, a simple question is opening the door to a world of possibilities.

     "Hi, can I take your photo?" 

On any given day, you'll find Sinclair in a different neighborhood, asking strangers to open up about their lives.

He'll take a photo, and strike up a conversation, compiling the two into a post on his 'Humans of Milwaukee' blog.

     "It allows you to step into someone's life, and to give them a space to reflect and to reveal, and to be vulnerable."

Sinclair was inspired by 'Humans of New York', a popular blog that has over 17-million followers. Early last year, he began to wonder why Milwaukee didn't have a similar platform, so he hit the streets himself.

     "I stood on the corner and for about 2 hours, I said nothing to no one. I was scared, I was cold, I was nervous."

A full year later, he's gained enough confidence to approach complete strangers and strike up a conversation. 

     "We're just disconnected from each other on a human level. If we can take one moment out of our life to slow down and stop someone that we would normally pass by, we will learn the strength, the love, the passion, the courage of average day people living in our city."

Sinclair has a story of his own, growing up in a busy house on Milwaukee's Northside.

     "I grew up really poor, with 14 siblings," he says. "It was hard going to school, I was quiet and embarrassed because of poverty, and my own situation, and no one asked what I was struggling with, nobody offered to help." 

That experience has helped him relate to the people he's approaching.

So far, Humans of Milwaukee has just under 15-thousand followers. Sinclair has compiled roughly 200 posts, and recently added a couple photographers to his team. 

He hopes his work inspires other to to get to know each other, 

You can visit the Humans of Milwaukee Facebook Page here

Share this article: