The Chinese emancipation of the mind continues as they pick up new ways to decode narratives outside their own long-curated collection. Valuing the primacy of first hand information in a time of relentless media tsunami, this project strikes a chord.
There is ample evidence of discourse at the broadcast level. Just check out the tonnes of current affairs programs on Youtube or Youku. This participatory spirit permeates through entertainment programmes too.
This may well be the best way to augment China’s social fabric in how it makes sense of the rest if the world.
Liang Jiaxin, director of the LCY living library project:
… people are the core of living libraries, and the key is connecting people from different groups, breaking barriers to communication and eliminating prejudice.
“Our slogan is ‘no truth before reading,’ because we believe much misunderstanding and prejudice comes from ignorance or lack of communication on an equal basis. Through many examples in our reading, we found that not only is prejudice reduced, but people even become more interested in learning about others.
… people are usually most interested in three categories of books: marginalized groups and people who are easily ignored or misunderstood; people with distinguishing features or experiences; and ordinary people with their own unknown stories to tell.
To better days ahead.
World views can shape behavior and drive action, and to act with grace requires consensus in the meaning and expression of grace. Hearing and seeing first hand stories with all five senses activated offers more than lines of text or crafted TV can.
If this gains traction, this should have a positive impact on how the Chinese behave as a fellow global villager.
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Read me like a book
By Liu Dong
Source – Global Times, published May 1, 2013
A researcher from Sun Yat-Sen University, who is a “living book,” shares her stories with readers at a living library activity in Guangzhou on April 20. Photo: Liu Dong/GT
How can different people discard their prejudices and achieve reconciliation in the face of conflict? This was a question that a group of young people from Denmark tried to answer through a unique form of dialogue they invented in 2000 and called “Living Library.” After growing in popularity worldwide, it has now come to China.
The living library, also known as a human library, is a social movement that began in Europe when several young Danes had the idea of bringing together people from different cultural backgrounds, nations, educational levels, religions and professions to communicate on the basis of equality to dispel hostility and bias.
At a music festival in 2000, the organizers introduced 75 “books,” which were in fact 75 real people with a variety of identities, including a policeman, a Muslim, a stripper, a person living with HIV, an American Indian, and even an extremist far-right Hungarian, to the public, who could be “borrowed” and “read” just like books in a library.
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