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Image / Editorial

Dublin’s First ‘Human Library’ Project


by Niamh ODonoghue
25th May 2016
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As part of this year’s International Literary Festival Dublin, which takes place from May 21st to 29th, members of the public are invited to rent out a very special collection of storytellers.

Taking place this Sunday on the final day of the festival, this truly unique experience gives the public an exclusive opportunity to meet and hear some of the most inspiring people from the popular  Humans of Dublin project. The organiser of the event, Peter Varga – who is also the curator of the popular Humans of Dublin project – says that The Human Library fits the ethos of the Humans of Dublin project, and so it was an obvious choice of collaboration for The International Literary Festival:

“The whole concept just fits so well with the Humans of Dublin project. You had a chance to read these humans’ stories online, and now you have the opportunity to ask your own questions, move the story in any direction that you wish, and get first-hand answers. It is exactly what is missing from the page, you always get a few sentences from that person, the core of the story. But having a conversation with these people makes it so much more special” says Varga.

Nicol Winther who identifies as transgender
Nicol Winther who identifies as transgender

Some of the humans available on the day will be Nicole from Denmark who identifies as transgender, Kifah who grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp and who witnessed his closest friends being tear-gassed and shot, and Michael; who died three times in the space of five weeks. Peter Varga will also be on hand to tell his story.

The Human Library project is a global project which originated in Copenhagen in 2000, and aims to challenge the stereotypes and prejudices of society through dialogue. The idea is that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and similarly a person shouldn’t be judged based on appearance or manner. Now in its 16th year, the project continues to expand and collect an extensive collection of priceless ‘books’.

The Human Library project will take place this Sunday in Tamp & Stitch from 2pm – 4pm and is free to attend; however booking is advised and can be done here.

Now in its 18th year, The International Literary Festival Dublin is a celebration of writers, storytellers, and creatives who provoke and inspire the world of literature.

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