Photo for Human Library at the Zee Zee Theatre Company

Human Library


by Stop the Violence (Copenhagen)

Curated by Dave Deveau
Presented with Vancouver Public Library and The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

January 24, 25, 31, February 1, 7, 8, 2015

VPL Central Branch

Free Event

One of the biggest hits of last year’s PuSh Festival returns as 40 new human books await their “readers” at the Vancouver Public Library. Check out a book, discover a person.

Enter the Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch and head up to the third floor where a special PuSh Festival circulation desk will register you with your own Human Library card and offer to lend you one of thirty possible human books. In choosing from titles like “Born Again Christian,” “Transgender Poet” and “Cultural Pirate” you’ll sign one out and be connected to the person behind that title. A one-on-one, twenty minute informal conversation will begin and the rest is up to you.

The Human Library initiative is an international phenomenon, started in Copenhagen as a project to fight hate in communities. It is designed to promote dialogue, reduce prejudices and encourage understanding. By connecting people who under normal circumstances might not have had a chance to sit down and talk, the library enables groups to break stereotypes by challenging common prejudices in a positive and humorous manner.

A paper book exists in the finite space of printed text and internalized reading. A human book, however, exists in the real four-dimensional scope of human experience. The reader can’t skip bits or neglect their book, a human book requires fixed attention and, through that intimate engagement with another’s story, invites empathy through real human engagement.


A very good read.

Jerry Wasserman, Vancouver Province

Human Library was started by a group of five individuals who founded the organization Stop The Violence after a brutal attack on a mutual friend. The first Human Library was held in Denmark in 2000 and the concept has since gained huge popularity and momentum. Over the past twelve years in over sixty-five countries, thousands of “human books” have connected with “readers” of all walks of life.


Zee Zee Theatre acknowledges that we live and work on the unceded traditional and ancestral territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.