I love people’s stories. Wondering what random people’s stories are, reading about them, and the best – people telling me parts of their story in person. I’ve been thinking about it more lately, because of things I’ve heard at church and a book I’ve started to read called ‘Becoming Human’ by Jean Vanier. He is mainly talking about the stories those with intellectual disibilities have to tell, and how other’s stories help us to see our common humanity.

Some populations have less opportunity to be heard. I was thinking of the interesting stories people experiencing homelessness have to tell, and if it would be possible to use their stories as an income source for them and a way to help others connect to that population through reading or hearing what they have to say.

I’ve thought for a long time that it would be amazing to do the same thing to learn about refugee populations and the cultural traditions they have brought here (especially musical traditions). That thought started in college through knowing a woman who came to the U.S. as refugee, and hearing about her life and getting to hear a little of the music from her culture. I imagine there must be so many different styles of music here that are almost entirely only heard in that specific population group. Wouldn’t it be amazing if that music could be shared and if that sharing would benefit a marginalized population in the process?

I think either story sharing or music sharing would be best done with pictures, video and words. Maybe an app with a map and cities to select, and then people’s collected stories, videos, and photos in each city section to explore.

I’m sure there are issues with privacy and accuracy of the stories. The last two people I’ve talked to who were experiencing homelessness, definitely had holes in their stories and one mentioned their mental health issues affecting them. I think though, even if some stories are not accurate, I bet they would be interesting. They would probably also still tell you something about the person telling them, and give you insight into how they experience the world.

It’s just an idea, and an idea that I don’t know how to implement, or have the time to do right now! Maybe someone with experience with these populations and with storytelling could do something with the idea though.

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