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Ronni Abergel: Human Library: Unjudge Someone



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Integration conference "My home, our home: what unites us in a multicultural community" on 15th and 16th November in Tallinn, Estonia. Conference webpage:

Ronni Abergel: Human Library: Unjudge Someone

  1. 1. Unjudge Someone
  2. 2. History Originally a Danish idea, 2000, debuted at Roskilde Festival. Book depository in Copenhagen, Esbjerg/Varde and Aalborg on its way. 24-30 yearly invitations in Copenhagen. Schools, high schools, libraries, conferences and different gatherings. Widely used in more than 80 countries. Last week Kenya, next week Botswana. By 2020 we reach 100 nations.
  3. 3. An overview of which countries and regions the Human Library has spread to New countries are joining us every year
  4. 4. We all have stereotypes and prejudices!
  5. 5. Who do we publish?
  6. 6. Our ‘pillars of prejudice’ is our baseline Religion: Muslim, Christian, Jew, Sikh, Hindu, convert, atheist, rabbi, priest... Ethnicity: White, black, Asian, Roma, indigenous... Gender/Sexuality: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, pansexual, asexual, polyamorous, genderfluid, crossdresser... Occupation: Policeman, journalist, politician, carer, traffic warden, sex worker, dentist, soldier, bouncer, drag queen... Social status: Unemployed, homeless, single parent, ex-offender, refugee, immigrant... Health: HIV, bipolar, schizophrenia, bulimic, anorexic, substance abuse (AA, NA), gambler, anxiety, ADHD, depression, PTSD, self-harm, suicide survivor... Disabilities: Wheelchair user, blind, deaf, diabetic, autistic, aspergers, learning impaired, dyslexic, epileptic, facially disfigured, brain damaged, Cancer... Lifestyle: Body-modified, tattooed, swinger, graffiti artist, busker, vegan, bodybuilder, naturist... Ideology: Anarchist, feminist, eco-warrior Partner/victim: Partner of trans, bereaved, child of gay parents, child of mentally ill parents, victim of abuse/rape/stalking/incest...
  7. 7. The good book A good book doesn’t give a lecture, but has a conversation with its readers Introduction, opening, index of a kind - typically 3-5 minutes Creates comfort, proves that your openness exists, responds honestly You are only an example of the group in society that you represent on the bookshelf You are a source for more information Gives the reader space to ask questions, listens and takes the time to respond based on own life exp.
  8. 8. There are rules for lending a book that the readers are asked to comply with. They must take part in creating a good atmosphere and disarm any scepticism among readers about the premise of the conversation. Then the rules will protect both parties to the conversation.
  9. 9. 3 The different publication formats - Different kinds of Human Libraries Classic Human Library ● Counter instruction, one-on-one, flexible location, actively chosen to participate Visiting education establishments ● Instructions in plenum, conversations in groups, actively chosen to participate and fixed location Conferences ● Instructions in plenum, conversations in groups, changing location, inactively chosen to participate
  10. 10. Classic Human Library
  11. 11. Most often one- on-one conversations. Before the reading, the reader receives instructions by our counter staff. The reader has actively chosen the topic.
  12. 12. The list of our different books is to be found on the counter to give the reader an overview. The librarian informs readers about rules of lending and opportunities. Titles that speak both Danish and English are to be found in the English folder as well.
  13. 13. A busy counter at Copenhagen main library in Krystalgade on a Saturday. Books are waiting in a room (book depository) and are called in gradually as readers show up and choose their title.
  14. 14. Instructing the readers at the loan counter Festival example
  15. 15. A group of readers at Wilderness Festival 2017
  16. 16. The counter at Folkemødet 2016 was in the middle of the street. The book depository was in a backyard nearby.
  17. 17. The Human Library visiting education establishments: “school visits”
  18. 18. Small groups of readers are gathered in a room or a corner with a good book.
  19. 19. Students from Ørestad high school having a conversation with our homeless book. At school visits the reading always happens in groups. The readers choose their topic themselves.
  20. 20. Complementary formats: Podcast TV2-Lorry
  21. 21. Meeting readers worldwide to: More conversations about our diversity than ever before Building Book Depots across the world Mobilizing thousands of volunteers Refusing to accept censorship Bringing attention to Human Rights and the work for more tolerance
  22. 22. Exercise