PuSh Blog

Curatorial Statement – Dave Deveau challenges you to borrow a book, discover a person at the Human Library

January 09, 2014

Human Library, 2013. Photo by Tim MathesonWe are a lonely city and we want to talk to each other. That’s what become clear through the tremendous success of last year’s Human Library. We have a hunger to talk to each other, to learn about lives different from our own; that we crave finding a shared humanity despite hugely different experiences. People came out in droves and lined up for the chance to speak with one of our human books – a selection of Vancouverites who were willing to share the intimacies of their lives and identities in order to try to create some incremental change in our shared understanding of one another.

For this year’s festival we have expanded the project: an extra hour each day, a whole bunch of new books, and some pop-up libraries scattered through smaller VPL branches throughout the city leading up to the festival. Some of these books were interesting people who came to read human books last year. Some are people who are revealing intimate things about themselves for the first time. All of them are profoundly engaging and challenge our assumptions about how any particular kind of person might “be” or “look like”.

Come take a chance on a title that you know nothing about. You’ll definitely learn a thing or two – who knows, you may walk out changed.

Some of the new human “titles” being added to this the 2014 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival’s Human Library include:

  • Open marriage
  • Living with bipolar
  • Over the hill gender transition
  • Rape victim
  • Invisibly disabled


Borrow a book, discover a person. Visit the Human Library on the 3rd floor of Vancouver Public Library Central Branch, 12:00PM – 4:00PM, January 17–19, 24–26, 31, and February 1–2, 2014.