Well, a very small contribution to a very small but beautifully formed strand of history because this weekend sees the instantiation of the Human Library at the Parlour Showrooms in Bristol as part of the (Reading) In The City series.
The Human Library is a very groovy project wherein individuals who have a particular story to tell – those who run mainly outside the pack, or who might be subject to social stereotyping – volunteer to become ‘books‘ in a ‘library’. The public are encouraged to wander from the street into the library (there’s no charge imposed but donations are welcome) and ‘borrow’ a book of their choice; that is engage in conversation with the human book, in the snug and safe environs of the library, for fifteen minutes or so. ‘Readers’ are then duty bound to return the book in the condition in which they found it, and can proceed expand their minds and challenge their prejudices by borrowing further books.
So far so groovy, but the Human Library has been running for about a decade (its back catalogue is quite interesting), so how might Nana be making history, you cry.
Well, this weekend – for the first time we believe- the Human Library will be offering a book in translation. Donna Williams is being a book in British Sign Language, yours truly being the translator of said volume.
The organisers of the Human Library in Bristol have been pretty fab at dealing with the odd demands having a book in translation has thrown at their previously finely-tuned plans, and we’re now all set to go.
Here’s hoping the project will encourage people to think again not just about deafness and identity, but also about language and translation.
The Human Library will be at Parlour Showrooms, College Green, Bristol, and its opening hours are:
SAT 16th | 11am-1pm & 2-5pm
SUN 17th | 11am-1pm & 3-5pm
We’ll be there for the Saturday only, so if you’re in the neighbourhood, do pop along.