BIBLIOTECA VIVENTE PER 1938-2018.
A 80 anni dalle leggi razziali
Strategy type (tool, event, training course, etc.)
Scope of the practice (local, national, international level)
When did it start/end?
Name of the organization
Museo diffuso della Resistenza, della Deportazione, della Guerra, dei Diritti e della Libertà
City and country
1. Describe your project briefly
On February 3, 2019, the exhibition "Che razza di storia" ("What a story") closed and the project "1938-2018. 80 years after the racial laws", coordinated by the Museum of the Resistance, ended. The project saw the deepening of a historical moment in which the state built an enemy on the basis of prejudices and stereotypes, resulting in exclusion and persecution by virtue of an alleged superiority. At the end of a broad and complex program, the Museum offered a moment of reflection and collection of suggestions received from the public and partners. This moment was constituted, at the ideal conjunction of the two chronological extremes of the project, by a performance in the mode of the living library, just close the questions about prejudice on the walls of the exhibition "Che razza di storia".
2. What is the aim of the project?
The living library, in the wider project "1938-2018. A 80 anni dalle leggi razziali", aimed to promote intercultural dialogue, addressing one's own prejudices and unhinge stereotypes through narration and sharing between people of different ages, geographical origin, education, etc. It offers books that cannot be browsed but listened to and questioned. These 'books' in fact, are people with a story to tell, "living books" to "borrow" for the time of a conversation. The books belong to minorities subject to stereotypes and prejudices; the intent, in the relationship that is established between the book and the reader, is to overcome categories and generalizations to connect with the experiences and emotions of the 'reader'. The titles offered by the library address our prejudices very directly.
3. Who was involved in designing process?
The meetings, exhibitions, and shows that took place during 2018 and in the first weeks of 2019, brought out non-trivial and simplifying connections with current realities of discrimination and conflict on which the partners of the project were called to question themselves. Along this path, particular attention was paid to involving new audiences and collaborating with institutions and groups committed to human rights, inclusion and active citizenship. The designing process directly involved young activists with migratory background, Roma people, LGBT people.
4. If you could change something, what would you change?
We wished we had more time to better communicate the project and having more participants to the event. However, it seemed useful to experience this new tool and not miss the opportunity to dialogue with people who then gave us so much in human and professional terms.
5. How do the project impact on civil society?
Well, difficult to say. It certainly had an impact on the staff of the Museum, who rarely has the chance to deal with people from different backgrounds and with different sensibilities. It was an extraordinary opportunity to get in touch with motivated and pro-active young people with whom then the Museum continued to work on educational projects for internal staff training and with schools. The hope is that by acquiring new skills and sensitivity, the future project of the museum will be closer and closer to its communities and conceived with more and more awareness and competence.
6. How do you evaluate the project’s impact?
The impact was very limited indeed. But it was a testing ground for the Museum, which was able to associate events with a traditional format with more inclusive events characterized by real co-curating with new communities.