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Humans of KCL: ‘No Man is an Island’ – An Ode to the Connectedness of Our Community
A look into the experience of Nima Mukherjee, President of, and Photojournalist at HoKCL.
19 October, 2020

What is Humans of King’s College London?

Inspired by the Humans of New York platform, Humans of King’s College London attempts to chronicle the diverse and invaluable stories of the over 30,000 members of our community – from students, staff and alumni all the way up to visitors or general affiliates of the College. Our platform is an attempt to bring us all a little closer together – to celebrate the values that define us and make us the King’s community. As John Donne once wrote: ‘No Man is an Island’. Each of us is never truly alone, and instead, we reflect and encapsulate those who surround us. 

Why did you decide to join this society?

I joined Humans of King’s because I had been following the various other Humans platforms around the world for many years. From New York, to Bombay, to Singapore, I was fascinated by the commonalities of the human experience. The opportunity to interact with strangers, to learn about their journeys and to simply get a glimpse into their lives, was something I found invaluable. Each one of us carries a story, and yet we rarely stop to pause and appreciate one another – platforms like Humans of King’s give us the opportunity to do just that.

What in your opinion then is the best and also the worst part of having to hear people’s personal stories? 

Hearing people’s stories is a bittersweet process. It takes great courage for individuals to sit down with us and let us into their lives. Of course, we have many lighthearted conversations as well, but it’s the deeply personal and private experiences that are the most delicate – we are always conscious that we are asking our interviewees to relive certain phases of their lives, to recreate and recall versions of themselves that might no longer exist. That being said, the best part of the process is definitely being able to witness someone slowly opening up to you – we work very hard to build a strong relationship over the course of an interview. Many times, individuals feel a sense of relief or reassurance upon having shared a story, for their experience has been validated and recognised for what it truly is.

Has any particular story impacted in a way you didn’t expect?

All stories impact us at HoKCL in magnificent ways, and each has a significant level of value, so it would be difficult to pick a single story that has had the most unexpected impact on us. We’ve sat down with people from all walks of life and thus learnt about so much – from the Muslim experience of living in post 9/11 New York to individuals fighting eating/mental health disorders to the experience of recovering from the death of a loved one – which is such a privilege for us.

Finally, what has been your biggest takeaway from being a part of Humans of King’s College London?

Joining Humans of King’s as a photojournalist last year, and taking over as President this year, has been one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. Above everything else, I’d say my greatest takeaway is that we all have a story to tell. No matter how small or how short, there is always a story. This platform has also taught me that there is no greater joy than sitting down with someone and hearing about what makes them who they are. So I’d really encourage everyone to do the same – step out of your phones and your social barriers, and just get to know the people around you. King’s is such a melting pot – of cultures, ideas, beliefs, experiences – and there is no time to get to know one another better than now!

HoKCL is a platform that chronicles the diverse and invaluable experiences of the over 30,000 members of the King’s community – from students, staff and alumni all the way up to visitors or general affiliates of the College, we all have a story to tell. Visit instagram.com/hokcl or facebook.com/humansofkingscollegelondon to learn more!

Editor-in-Chief

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