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16.08.2017

There are only two titles in this library – Mr and Ms. Three if you count the more evolved Mx-es.

Welcome to the Human Library Bangalore, a repository of interesting human beings that live and work in the city, ‘live books’ that you can sit and chat with for half an hour or so during periodic events. We know what you’re thinking: will these humans have that awesome book smell? Go find out. Would it be weird to run your hand down this book's spine? Yes!

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The Human Library began in Denmark in 2003 to initiate conversations between people of different orientations, backgrounds and religions, by urging participants to listen to each other’s life experiences. “In its essence, the Human Library is about dialogues that can help banish stigmas,” says Ria Andrews, core team member of Bangalore’s Human Library, along with being an advertising executive and LGBTQ activist. The most important message here, she believes, is for these conversations to convey that people are not isolated in the discrimination or prejudices they face.

The first lending session of the Bangalore chapter opens on August 27 at Lahe Lahe in Indiranagar with twelve to eighteen human books waiting to be lent out for a period of half an hour each.

Don’t Be Comma-Tose

The first lending session of the Bangalore chapter opens on August 27 at Lahe Lahe in Indiranagar with twelve to eighteen human books waiting to be lent out for a period of half an hour each. Having generated much curiosity on social media, the number of reader registrations has been overwhelming, says Roshini Ross, slam poet and curator of ‘books’. “And so we decided to have group reading sessions with each book, to allow more participation,” she says.

The topics of each human title will only be revealed on the day of the launch, but the subjects are varied and will touch on religion, LGBTQ rights, discrimination against people with mental health issues and physical disabilities. Divorcees, single parents and victims of acid attacks will also be on the reading list. “What will make the stories more relevant is the aspect of localisation within the experiences of the ‘books’ as Bangaloreans. This will help people really empathise with the narratives,” believes Roshini.

This is the one time you won’t be required to maintain silence at the library, but do remember to turn your phones off.

Getting there: First lending session on August 27 at Lahe Lahe in Indiranagar. To book your spot visit to the Human Library Bangalore Facebook page.

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