Highlighting the human side of Nelson
Humans of Nelson is part of the nationwide project, Humans of Aotearoa whose vision is to share the stories of everyday New Zealanders.
It is an idea based on the success of Humans of South Auckland, a project which was led by photographer and storyteller (and new Nelsonian), Jasmine Jenke.
In 2014, Jenke and her team began sharing South Auckland stories on the Humans of South Auckland Official Facebook page.
The project grew rapidly and saw the stories being published in the local community paper and book, Real, Raw and Relatable which was published in 2016.
"HOA [Humans of Aotearoa] is an opportunity for communities nationwide to benefit from the power of storytelling", says Jenke. "Our vision is to connect, engage and empower communities".
Together with her colleague, Roxanne Leech, they aim to equip communities with the tools to develop their own 'Humans of' project. The project has been piloted in Kaitaia and Christchurch and is now in Nelson, where Jenke will be a member of the local team.
If you're interested in interviewing and writing short stories for Humans of Nelson, contact email@example.com
Cameron was born in Nelson but moved to Christchurch at the age of five. He recently returned in 2016 to spend more time with his family.
"Nelson is home to me. I love how close everything is and that I don't have to drive everywhere. We have so many different options here and I love how easily accessible it is to go outdoor adventuring. Even the West Coast is only 2 hours away which I think is one of the coolest places in New Zealand."
Cam is a fulltime IT student at NMIT. He has a passion for travel and has recently returned from a six week trip to San Francisco and hopes to do much more travel in the future.
"I joined Humans of Aotearoa because I like learning about people's lives. I hope this initiative can encourage people to be less judgemental and bring people in Nelson and the wider New Zealand closer."
After spending over a decade as a central government bureaucrat and public health researcher in Wellington, Erin recently returned to Nelson with her husband and two young children.
"Initially, returning to Nelson felt like going backwards. I'd worked really hard to establish a career elsewhere and I loved what I was doing. But some things are more important. Now I don't commute an hour each way, and I get to spend more time with my family. I couldn't imagine living anywhere else - it is such a beautiful place."
In addition to being a Mum, Erin also holds various voluntary roles in the community, including being the Neighbourhood Support Network Coordinator for Todd Valley.
"I'd been thinking about capturing and sharing people's stories in the area as a way of bringing people together and increasing social capital. When I learned about HOA, I thought - Yes! I want to be a part of this."
Cameron has just embarked on an exciting career in pharmacy, graduating from Otago University last year. He has recently moved to Nelson where he is currently undertaking his intern year at Nelson Hospital.
"Of all the places I have lived, I believe that Nelson is truly like no other. To me what makes Nelson special is the people; their stories, their struggles, their aspirations and their experiences. To me, the scenery is just the cherry on top."
Cameron has a passion for candid travel photography. He enjoys capturing the essence of everyday life around the world in different communities. "When I found out about the Humans of Aotearoa, I thought Great!; This could be a great way to meet the community as well as provide an avenue for delving into the world of portraiture."
Jasmine is a former high school teacher and self-taught photographer, originally from south Auckland. She and her husband Matt moved to Nelson at the beginning of 2017 to purchase their first home and escape the busy lifestyle.
"I love Nelson. I love the peace, the mountain view from our house and how close we are to nature. We've joined the Nelson Young Professionals Group and have met a lot of really amazing individuals who we now call friends. We're a lot more social than I thought we would be."
Jasmine is passionate about storytelling and believes that everyone has a story to share, hence starting the project Humans of Aotearoa.
Her dream is to connect everyday New Zealander through the power of social media and digital, interactive displays.
She hopes to do this with the help of local volunteers and the everyday New Zealanders opening up and sharing their story.