What if instead of simply getting lost in the pages of a book, you could also exchange some ideas and get some answers from it? Imagine finding a talking book that will share knowledge with you, answer your queries, clear your doubts and may be even change some of your opinions. You’ve heard of e-books and audio books, but have you heard of a human book?
There is a new initiative that has taken the world of storytelling by storm - a human library. “The Human Library provides a space where dialogues about various stigmas and prejudices prevalent in our society could be initiated. It allows the readers to learn from those who have faced such experiences in their personal lives. This would allow them to look at various issues from a new perspective.”
What started in Denmark, Copenhagen in 2000, as the Human Library Organization is now active in over 80 countries. The book lovers of Kolkata got to experience the thrill of borrowing a human book to share some conversations and exchange some ideas. Each reader was allowed to borrow two books at this event and you get to spend atleast 25 minutes with each book. Within that time, as a reader, you first get to listen to their stories and then question ‘your book’ in order to acquire newer perspectives, broaden your understanding and challenge your own prejudices.
In an attempt to shatter stigmas perpetuated by the society on topics like gender, domestic violence and mental health - in the first chapter, the Human Library brought together an assemblage of trailblazers, survivors and possible role models who have faced their life challenges with courage and emerged victorious.