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People Lending

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 21 July 2009

 


Title

People Lending
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 109
Posted DateTuesday 21 July 2009 17:58 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
Linkshttp://thinkingshift.wordpress.com/2008/06/10/people-lending ... 

I think you'll love this! The living library where you borrow people not books.

Instead of borrowing a book, you can borrow a person for a 30 minute chat. An east London library has 26 "human books" available. The aim is to confront and breakdown stereotypes. You can "borrow" a Muslim; a police officer; a person suffering mental health issues; a gay guy; or a young person expelled from school.

So the stereotypes might be religious fanatic; corrupt; unstable; promiscuous; rebellious and so on. It's about having frank and rich conversations with people and learning about different cultures or ways of living. It's about the "borrower" offering up what misgivings or fears they might have of a stereotype and the "human book" responding.

Violence, hatred and racial issues often occur when there is misunderstanding, ignorance and cultural insensitivity. Listening to the narrative of another person who is entirely different from you is a powerful experience. The Living Library challenges preconceptions through promoting dialogue.

I think this is a great idea - maybe I should borrow one of these "human books" and use them to seed the conversation for one of my London Knowledge Cafes - what an interesting thought :-)




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Sunday 23 April 2017
08:59 AM GDT