PuSh Blog

Human Library – Diva Glam vs. The DTES

January 25, 2013

The Human Library was a huge success last week. We know the public liked checking out the books, but we wanted to know what was it like for our books? Here’s what one had to say about the experience.


I really went in to this spontaneously and blindly, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  Dave (Deveau, curator of the Human Library) is such an amazing, kind and empathetic curator… he just gave us carte blanche and trusted us to do the rest.

Unfortunately on my first day I had experienced transportation problems and had arrived 4 minutes prior to going live, so there was no chance of being nervous.  Since it had never been done in Vancouver there was not a lot of expectation that the first day would be busy and we were told to bring a book and thought perhaps we could visit with other books. This was not the case as we were all booked for the duration of the day.  I absolutely loved it and thrived on the energy from sharing my story.

It is a very personal story about losing my home and my struggle to overcome obstacles and the apathy of society during this time.  I am a very shy, reserved person but I found the interaction to be therapeutic. Until this point I hadn’t really understood the concept of organic but that is exactly what the story was because with each reader the story changed and developed to incorporate his/her questions and thought process. It became more so a story or conversation in which view points and thoughts by the reader were explored and different paths taken.

My most memorable moment was when the books were booked by a group of students 13-17.  My student came with his instructor, the rest were all one on one.  At first it was awkward. I introduced myself and had to ask him his name 3x. I made the assumption that he was a foreign student but as my story progressed, his voice became louder and he started to share some of his own story on how he was isolated due to his ADHD and his thoughts on raising awareness. I learnt afterwards that this shy awkward boy was so moved by my story, he came out of his shell and became so passionate about it he wanted to have a human library at his school.

I never expected people to become so emotional, grateful and genuinely moved by the experience.  I had a message and was glad to see it received so warmly and with the promise to share that awareness with others they encountered.  It was humbling as well as empowering.  I can’t wait to do this again!

Sabena Rebello

Diva Glam vs. The DTES


Stop the Violence (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Presented by the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and grunt gallery

January 18-20, 25-27 + Feb 1-3, 2013 12:00PM – 4:00PM
Vancouver Public Library Central Branch, 3rd floor