Human Library on the "Rainbow Bench"
We tend to fear the most and reject people or things we do not know or understand. We created a safe space where we could get to know the Other. We met, sat on a bench and talked. The Others may have ceased to be strangers. The event organised in cooperation with the Marek Edelman Dialogue Center took place on October 11 at Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź.
ms1, 36 Więckowskiego St, educational room
A library does not exist without books. The Human Library is a concept based on the cooperation with Human Books, i.e., people who stand out from the society, with minorities seen through the prism of harmful stereotypes and experiencing discrimination. Anyone can become a reader – just register and get a library card. Then you can "borrow" a selected Book and talk to "it" for 30 minutes. All questions are allowed provided, of course, they are not disrespectful or violating basic principles of decency.
The 2020 edition was accompanied by the inauguration of the ”Rainbow Bench” which had been donated by the artist Jerzy Dobrzański to Muzeum Sztuki as a functional piece of furniture and a symbol of solidarity with the LGBT+ and other communities affected by exclusion. The bench is on permanent display at ms1.
The very idea of a Human Library was created in Denmark in 2000. A group of young people gathered around the “Stop Violence” organization came up with the Human Library concept, which over more than ten years has spread to 45 countries around the world where its ideas are continuously being implemented. Our Human Library will also be implemented in cooperation with the Human Library organisation, which takes care of the project and ensures the high quality of Human Libraries in all countries.
We would like to make available to our readers a variety of Books; the ones that would present different aspects of exclusion on grounds of nationality and religion, disability and illness, psychosexual orientation, or lifestyle.
We would like to thank Jerzy Dobrzański for the gift, which we treat as a commitment to continue our work on turning our institutions into places that support equality, diversity, and tolerance.
Jerzy Dobrzański is a sculptor and designer, graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw at the Faculty of Sculpture and doctoral studies at the Faculty of Industrial Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. He is a scholarship holder of the Kościuszko Foundation, which he completed at the Pratt Institute in New York in 2012, and a tutor at the Academy of Art in Szczecin. His works include sculptures, installations, and functional objects for public spaces. He is also an owner of the Betonovo company, which produces industrial forms of concrete.
A form is available here