Are you curious what goes on in the mind of a queer Islamaphobe? Or perhaps you’d rather pick the brain of a polyamorous lover?
No, I’m not suggesting you call up your cable provider and subscribe to TLC. Rather, you should step away from the screen and hit up the Human Library, which provides an unscripted opportunity to learn more about real people who may not share the same values or culture as you.
Designed to promote dialogue and reduce prejudice, the Human Library hands visitors a library card, which allows them to check out a human book and talk with them for 20-30 minutes. Organizers believe these interactions will help break stereotypes by challenging some of our most common prejudices in a positive and humourous environment.
The project was born at a Danish music festival in 2000, and has since popped up over 300 times in communities across the globe. On January 26, the very first Human Library Day will take place in Canada, when 24 events will take place in 15 cities across the country.
The Human Library will also be making an extended stay in Vancouver for the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, where it runs from January 18–20 and 25–27. Titles available for loan include Cultural Pirate, Non-Binary Transgender, Born Again Christian, and Female Heavy Equipment Mechanic.