2016. március 7., hétfő

"What is Kazinczy Living Library?" - interview with Lívia Ásmány

“What is exactly the KLL (Kazinczy Living Library) and what is its aim?”

“The Living Library is an opportunity to encourage and strengthen understanding each other. As you can borrow books to read in a traditional library, you can borrow people for an honest conversation in the Living Library. The Books of the Living Library are people who often face prejudices or discrimination due to their ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, health condition or social status. The Books share their experience with the Reader about discrimination and exclusion through a conversation. The Reader can ask questions and reflect on their own prejudices.

“Where did the idea come from? Is it a unique idea or are there examples for t abroad also?”

“The idea came from Denmark, where a group of young people decided to stand up against violence when one of their friends was killed in a murder. The made their idea come true in the Roskilde Festival where they organized their activities. The free event was a great success at the Festival in 2000. At another festival, namely Sziget Festival, the example was followed and the idea spread in many countries around the world, in many countries in Europe and in the Philippines and many other places. The Living Library changed from a Festival Program and is available at different locations, in public libraries, schools, universities and other public places. The topics reflect global and local problems, which are typical in the country. The Kazinczy Living Library opened its gates in Kazinczy Street, among the walls of Szimpla Kert in January 2015. The organizer team aims both at the locals and the international community living in Budapest so the library works in Hungarian and English, too.”

“What topic of “Books” have you already invited?”

“Every time we open a new “section”, so in our one year of operation we have had these topics so far:

- homeless people

-people employed in the public work program



-differently able people (people with disabilities)


-in the religion section: Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist and Christian people.”

“How does it work that people involved in the previous topic take part in the next occasion? What can of continuity is the result?”

“We have a lot of books, and different ones come every time, you can talk to other ones. As I've mentioned, on every event we open a new section where you can read a new topic but there are new Books in the earlier sections, too. However, we have around twenty Books at one event and in four hours you can have only 4 conversations on top, but usually the visitors decide after 2-3 conversations that they will continue next time as they have so many thoughts to digest. So plenty of people come back regularly, we have a visitor who came to EVERY occasions so far and says we should organise it more often.” (smile)

“Which age group asks? Who are interested in the Books?”

“People between 15 and 75. There are many readers in their twenties but their parents' generation visit the events, also.”

“Which organizations take part in the work?”

“Fortunately, there are many:

Rehab Critical Mass - 
Háttér Társaság - @ [NjQyMTgzOTU5MjA4MTA3Omh0dHBcYS8vaGF0dGVyLmh1Lzo6:http://hatter.hu/]
Artemisszio Alapítvány- @ [NjQyMTgzOTU5MjA4MTA3Omh0dHBcYS8vYXJ0ZW1pc3N6aW8uYmxvZy5odS86Og==:http://artemisszio.blog.hu/]
Open Doors Hungary - @ [NjQyMTgzOTU5MjA4MTA3Omh0dHBzXGEvL3d3dy5mYWNlYm9vay5jb20vT3BlbkRvb3JzSHVuZ2FyeTo6:https://www.facebook.com/OpenDoorsHungary]
Menedék Egyesület -@ [NjQyMTgzOTU5MjA4MTA3Omh0dHBcYS8vbWVuZWRlay5odS86Og==:http://menedek.hu/]
A Város Mindenkié Csoport - @ [NjQyMTgzOTU5MjA4MTA3Omh0dHBcYS8vYXZhcm9zbWluZGVua2llLmJsb2cuaHUvOjo=:http://avarosmindenkie.blog.hu/]
Közmunkás Mozgalom A Jövőért - @ [NjQyMTgzOTU5MjA4MTA3Omh0dHBcYS8va296bXVua2FzbW96Z2Fsb20uYmxvZy5odS86Og==:http://kozmunkasmozgalom.blog.hu/]
Megálló Csoport Alapítvány - @ [NjQyMTgzOTU5MjA4MTA3Omh0dHBcYS8vbWVnYWxsby5vcmcvOjo=:http://megallo.org/]

“How do the volunteers join in?”

“It's a bit like they were standing on all the three “sides” as they were Books, organizers and people who ask questions at the same time. We have Erasmus + volunteers as part of the European Volunteer Service (EVS), who join the organizing of the Kazinczy Living Library. Magda helps us this year, who came to us for nine months from Poland. I don't know what we will do without her, when she will go home. She coordinates the technical and logistic tasks, the preparations, the local volunteer group, she keeps in touch with the organizations, she informs the Books, she takes care of the necessary printed materials and the trainings that are organized for our volunteers. Besides our European volunteers, we have a great local volunteer group, who help in preparing to and managing the events. They are the interpreters and translators too, so they interpret during the conversations when it is needed.”

“What topics do you plan?”

“It seems that “people with chronic disease” will be the next one. Then the group decides what comes after. This is always the result of a brainstorming together.”

“Do you think that people who come to read already have some knowledge and experience or is it more common that the visitors don't have any previous knowledge about the topic?”

“Those people come mainly who are open-minded, accepting and would like to know a certain topic better, want to talk to people who are involved and want to ask questions.”

“When is the the next occasion when we can read?”

“On 2nd April 12 o'clock.”

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