Storytelling is a powerful tool, that is a given. When we experience a story, it does much more than provide us with new information, whether non-fiction or not. Our imagination and vision do all they can to bring the most meaning to it in our minds, and along the way, they also help us understand, accept, and celebrate novelty.
The Human Library, as the name suggests, is a place where stories are not shared through the written word in books, but through spoken word in person. The ethos of the Human Library lies in listening and conversing with those whose life stories are simply waiting to be shared. The lessons and learnings of each one of our stories have a place there, waiting to be heard. Here, a human book lends their tales while others listen.
Originally a movement in Denmark, the Human Library came to India through Andaleeb Qureshi, with Mumbai as the first stop. As communal disturbance grew in India, she realised the need of the hour was for people to be open and be able to experience a variety of different backgrounds. As part of a solution, Andaleeb licensed an India chapter of the Human Library that is now present in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai.
“The problem with books for me has always been the fact that they are a one-way interaction. But with a human book, you get to hear incredibly real and interesting stories straight from the horse’s mouth and even interact with your ‘books’, which isn’t something you can do at a regular library.”— Andaleeb Qureshi
The vulnerability that is emphasised through Human Library is not a weakness, rather, it is a pathway to a more open-minded world. When storytellers from various backgrounds of religion, economic strata, genders, sexualities, and more are given a chance to narrate their stories in the most impactful way possible, the world may experience wonders.
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