Human Library – Mumbai
Human Library Mumbai’s first event itself witnessed a foot fall of more than 450 eager readers and the broad selection of 13 books provided Mumbaikars with ample choice to challenge their stereotypes and neutralize their prejudices. The readers took advantage of this opportunity – leaving books, librarians, organizers & readers amazed at the impact of HLM. The librarians found the books to fly off the shelves in the first 15 minutes of registration. The books wereoff the shelves, not to be restocked by 5:45 pm.
The main aim of this event was to neutralize the negative connotations or stigmas attached to certain situations in our societies. Some of the prejudices covered at the event were gender bias, sexual identity, professional bias, molestation, religious identity and body image.
“Don’t judge? a book by its cover”
How many times have you read this quote and really faced the challenges of its production? We at Human Library use this as our anthem and our value!
The Human Library is a revolutionary movement which originated in Denmark and now has its presence in more than 70 countries. It was started 12 years ago as an anti-violence initiative. Initially, it was restricted to peer-to-peer discussions about prejudices and violence in the society but today it’s a place to bridge the gap between people both inside and outside the ring of prejudices. It is a place where real people as “books” are on loan to readers and where difficult questions are expected, appreciated, discussed and answered.
The Human Library Mumbai (HLM) is an extension of the organisation in Mumbai.
Mumbai, a thriving metropolis bears people from various cultures, religions, occupations. You won’t find a more diverse city in India! Here, everyone has a story to tell. This city is the epitome of embracing diversity and so it becomes the best place to hold a classroom without walls.
How does it work?
HLM works towards creating personal dialogue between a ‘BOOK’ and a ‘READER’. Just like any public library, we have ‘BOOKS’ or people who are at the brim of prejudices and we have ‘READERS’- people who are willing to challenge their mental frameworks and listen to their respective books. We tap into various boxes of prejudices like sexuality, occupation, lifestyle, religion, culture etc.
On a decided day a “reader” comes into the library and gets a library card which directs him to his “book”. A reader has the experience of listening to someone’s life story first hand, take in the roller-coaster of emotions ranging from hard hitting grit,, successes, failures, hopes and the list goes on. It leaves a life changing impact on the reader and the book. They discuss the topics that you wouldn’t talk about at a supermarket or family dinners.
Who is it for?
EVERYONE and ANYONE. Anyone who is lifelong learner. Anyone who is brave enough to challenge their judgments of others and of things that we merely don’t understand. Anyone who is looking to broaden their perspective and open their minds to things that people find comfort in running away from.
It is also for people who face these judgments and feel the need to let others know their story. It is for people who understand the challenges of being boxed in and want to fight for their respective boxes.
What is the outcome?
A change. A change in perspectives or thinking or attitude or acceptance or even just silent tolerance of the “other”, of the side that we may not be able to understand. The main aim that HLM strives to achieve is driving away the several invisible prejudices that separate us.
HLM is scheduled to take place every month in the city. More information on upcoming events and for registration as ‘Books’ or ‘Readers’ is available on their Facebook page @humanlibrarymumbai. They can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Where will these events take place: Across the city, at public places.
Who can attend: This event is free for all
Human Library Team:
Founder: Andaleeb Qureshi
Members: Nicky Mansuri, Priyanka Pimpale, Priya Dabholkar, Sahiban Crasto, Shailaja Nakahre, Sharaf Zaidi, Shruti Nair, Surmeet Kaur, Mayur Ramteke, Bhakti Mahmbre, Jitesh Doshi, Soham Sil, Ajinkya Bhonde