With attention to the Other. “Living Library” at Docudays UA

13 March 2017

Every year Docudays UA opens the “Living Library”. Each year it offers unique experiences and endless conversations about everyday life, work, and relationships. In this space, books are embodied by real people. The project curator Ruslana Pakhunyk tells about her experience of reading a “living book” and the opportunity to ask another person questions that are crucial to us.


My first meeting with “Living Library” took place in 2013. That year’s spring was capricious, and Kyiv covered with snow just by the opening of Docudays UA. Public transportation was not functioning, and days off were induced in the entirely paralyzed city. But all of this did not prevent me from walking more than an hour by foot to get to the Cinema House. The world of the “Living Library” was spellbinding.


My first experience of communication with a “living book” proved how much our life is dominated by stereotypes. I came to talk to a refugee book and expected to see someone from Syria, Iraq or Central Asian countries; instead, I was introduced to a young man from Russia. I was not expecting that at that moment. Very often we continue to transfer stereotypes without even realizing it. I would like to make this experience of reader and curator useful to other people.


We have updated this year’s “Living Library” more than by half. The “books” are the people about whom there are prejudices in the society – usually these are representatives of ethnic, religious minorities, LGBT community (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals), as well as people who live in secluded groups (like refugees), or adherents of unpopular ideas (for example, vegans and anarchists).


The “Living Library” project touches both heart and mind, completely absorbs one’s consciousness and changes the worldview. Just try it once!


Follow the announcements at the official Living Library page on Facebook – we have many surprises for you!


On photo - “Living Library” at Docudays UA-2016

25 – 
April 2022