Push Stories shares moving snapshots of UBC community diversity

Push Stories is a subproject by a group of UBC students that aims to promote wellbeing and a sense of community on campus through storytelling.

Telling tales of existential crises, coming out and being raised in a cult, Push Stories is a video series that provides a platform for UBC students and staff to share personal experiences about almost anything. If you’re a fan of candid storytelling but lack the attention span to sit through lengthy podcasts or documentaries, Push is a series for you.

Spawned by Kite Vancouver, a student-run, nonprofit organization empowering local change, Push Stories is a subproject by a group of UBC students that aims to promote wellbeing and a sense of community on campus through storytelling. After initially starting out a little rough as a rambling podcast, the project has developed into a series featuring sweet and short videos of students and staff. In sharing tales of identity, adversity, sexuality and more, Push celebrates the diversity of life experiences that can be found at UBC.

Push producer and External Director for Kite Archie Stapleton, a third year philosophy major at UBC, explained why they began the project.

“We create videos to share experiences in the community and bring people closer together, make them feel less alone.”

Strangers you pass down Main Mall, the individual who sits next to you in class, people you stand amongst in a crowded bus or the friends you’ve supposedly known since first year — each person carries their own, unique narrative and many stories go untold. Theresa Wong, a second-year arts student and Push producer, said that everyone has “parts of their lives that they don’t usually share because they just don’t come up.”

“We think UBC is a very big campus and there’s a lot of people,” said Wong. “We think often even though there are a lot of people, we feel quite isolated and loneliness can be a big issue. We just hope that Push will be a way of sort of tackling that.”

The series exhibits a Humans of New York-esque vibe, highlighting the diverse experiences people on campus have to share. On their Facebook page, Push is a platform for individuals to unveil experiences of a wide variety through visually-stunning videos. It encourages viewers to simply listen, peel deep into layers to discover what truly makes individuals, individuals.

“It’s really rewarding just to be able to have conversations with people that you usually wouldn’t have,” said Wong. “You’d be really surprised. Even people you consider your friends, that you think you know pretty well.”

The producers hope to release three new videos this semester, centred around themes such as new beginnings, coincidences, fame and liberation. The project is also expected to have an affiliation with the Life Building, with an entire wall dedicated to Push Stories and an installation of rotating images and quotes from submitted stories.

However, Stapleton and Wong are currently in need of interviewees and are open to hearing any interesting stories to share and feature in upcoming videos. In an enormous campus such as UBC, the producers underline that Push is merely a platform that “allows people to say whatever it is they want to say.”

“It tries to say that people have vastly different experiences, but we’re all here — studying, working, interacting together … Never judge a book by it’s cover, I suppose.”

To submit a story or get involved with Push Stories, email pushstoriesubc@gmail.com or send a message to the Push Stories Facebook page.