Published in www.humanlibrary.gr
The first time that the group came across the idea of Human Library was through the very successful group of Human Library in Turkey and later on during the conference of United that took place in Sheffield in June 2009. In September 2009 it received the approval for their collaboration from the Danish organisers of the International Network of Human Libraries and they started working.
In times when they were concerned as individuals as well as a group from the subtle encouragement (or even enforcement) of a kind of life style of a racist view in Greece, they thought that Human Library is a great tool for imposing coexistence, sensitivity and education on the human rights and fight against social exclusion.
The main characteristics of the way that they have decided to work is self-organisation and working collectively. All of their activities are self-financed by them and are open in all those who wish to support a civilisation which will include, recognise and appreciate diversity
The Human Library does not consist of actual books but of people who are willing to share their stories and experiences with others, in order to fight prejudice and promote diversity.
Human Library Greece was initiated in October 2009 in Athens by a group of volunteers, in collaboration with the global network of Human Libraries in Denmark, where the project was first developed ten years ago.
Put simply, the ”Human Library” is a mobile library that encourages interaction and conversation in order to bring communities together. However, this library does not lend actual books. Instead, the fellow volunteers are put ”on loan” in order to expose themselves and be “read”, opening a dialogue with their readers about racism in Greece today, aiming to break stereotypes and fight prejudice. The “shelves” of the Human Library offer ”human books”, their stories and experiences. Furthermore, they bring people closer together through conversation, encouraging diversity.
The places that we choose for the events of our ”human readings” are always accessible to people with disabilities. Interpretation in Greek sign language is always available, as well as a catalogue of the human books in Braille and big fonts for the vision impaired. There are also Human Dictionaries (interpreters) available in English, Farsi, Dari and other languages.
This is an indicative catalogue of the books you may find in a Human Library:
“Living an (HIV) positive life”
“I’m grey and I’m gay – growing up out, loud, proud”
“Coming from Africa”
“Migrating towards a better life”
“Living between the sighted and the unseen”
“The Godless Faggot”
“My signing hands are my life”
“Half or twice a lady?”
“Will on wheels”
“Being feminist in a sexist world”
“Living as a psychiatric survivor”
“A Guerilla in Athens. From being a freedom fighter in Zimbabwe to being a slave in Maroussi”
“Azadi means free. The Adventures of a refugee from Afghanistan towards a Europe-Fortress”