It's what you read into it

At first glance, I imagined a room of bodies being taken out for burial and the word library a dignified substitute for morgues. Far from it. The idea took route in Denmark and is a way of creating a special dialogue room, as opposed to a reading room, where taboo topics are discussed openly and without condemnation; and a place where people who would otherwise never talk find room for conversation. According to the creators, the concept is similar to that of a traditional library. "If book is read and discussed or shared among like-minded readers, the human library has...
At first glance, I imagined a room of bodies being taken out for burial and the word library a dignified substitute for morgues. Far from it. The idea took route in Denmark and is a way of creating a special dialogue room, as opposed to a reading room, where taboo topics are discussed openly and without condemnation; and a place where people who would otherwise never talk find room for conversation.

According to the creators, the concept is similar to that of a traditional library. "If book is read and discussed or shared among like-minded readers, the human library has people engaging in conversations. Like books, participants of the human library can be picked from a list to engage in conversations and share stories."

What a super idea. Okay, so no musty smell of books, but human odour of perfume and perspiration. No matter, let's look at the big picture. Imagine a BLM supporter sitting down with say, Donald Trump, each exchanging views in a dignified manner? Or a fervid Catholic comparing dogma with a passionate Protestant?

Given the current situation in South Africa with its clinging prejudices, these libraries would be of great benefit. I can't help imagining a meeting between say, two Swiss okes, particularly known for their stoicism. Introductions alone would whittle away the thirty minutes allowed for each session.

My granddad was Swiss – and a churchman – so I know. It would go something like this: "It's good morning, Herr Buchler?" Before answering, the gentleman pops outside, looks at the sky, comes back and says, "Yes, not too bad. What is your name?" "Why? Don't you trust me? Where do you hail from?" "Of what importance is that? Is it a class thing?"

The last 15 minutes are spent arguing the pros and cons of the canton system of governance. Sadly, here even conventional libraries are targeted by protesting looters and arsonists, so human ones are still a pipe dream.

For more news your way, download The Citizen's app for iOS and Android.

This post is currently not accepting comments.