PuSh Blog

Human Library

January 12, 2013

The Human Library project emerged over a decade ago in Denmark as a creative method to unpack hate within a community and discuss our prejudices and misunderstandings in intimate conversations one-on-one. For PuSh’s edition curator Dave Deveau has put together a diverse and eclectic stack of books that speak to contemporary society mining sexuality, gender, mental health and culture, while saluting the libraries of our youths, a world of date stamps, pocket slips, and paper library cards that traced our readership.

Curator Dave Deveau asks:

What image comes to mind when you think BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN? BRAIN INJURED? REFUGEE? The faces behind these titles are full of surprises.

Watching these titles “read” one another in workshops over the past few months has filled the library with an infectious energy – a longing to connect, a willingness to share, a hunger to shatter stereotypes. Their stories are deeply relatable, vulnerable, and innately human.

These are stories about rare job experiences like a FEMALE HEAVY EQUIPMENT MECHANIC and SEX THERAPIST, rare health conditions like THE BUTTERFLY BOY, rare life experiences like DIVA GLAM VS DTES. Stories about people whose lives perhaps vary greatly from our own like CODA: CHILD OF DEAF ADULTS, people who made history like OLD QUEEN, young people facing the challenges of the twenty first century like COMING OUT TODAY.

These are stories about people with ideas about how our society functions like CULTURAL PIRATE and QUEER ISLAMOPHOBE, who challenge the norm like ASEXUAL, POLYAMOROUS, and NON-BINARY TRANSGENDER, who interact with the world in their own way like ASPERGER’S. Stories about people discovering intimate parts of themselves like KINKY DANCER.

Stories from community heroes like DRAG QUEEN and LIVING LARGE and everyday heroes like M-F TRANSGENDER POET.

These are stories about people who exist day to day in the very same way you and I do. And who are inviting you to converse with them and share an intimate moment for a moment in time.

Human Library 

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


Human Library is FREE and open to the public, and books are available on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the performance.

Supported by the Vancouver Public Library

Human Library is part of the Fiction(s) project supported by the British Columbia Arts Council Innovations Program, Vancouver Foundation, The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation and The Hamber Foundation.

Curator: Dave Deveau
Created by: Ronni AbergelDany AbergelChristoffer ErichsenAsma Mouna (Stop The Violence)

Duration: 20-30min