Qultura is an alternative dream weaving community which functions as a Human Library. Here is where you learn what it is we do, how we do it, and what all this is about.
You understand that a library is a place where you can borrow a book, right? Well how about a library where you can borrow another human being and spend an hour or so getting to know them, about their life, and about their life experiences and interests?
Are you prepared to sit down for an hour or two face to face and get to know someone from your community who is different from you? Are you prepared to put aside your prejudices, your judgment, ignore the labels and get to know another human being as a fellow human being? Are you also willing to sit down and talk about your life, your life experiences, your memories, and your interests with another human being who is different from you?
This is essentially what a Human Library is all about.
Dream weaving is a way of developing consciousness, conscious awareness, insight and mindfulness through primary social interaction, and seeking out and finding connections between memories, individual human experiences, the mind, the environment and other people. This is the most natural human way of developing your mind which is both mystical and magical, and requires nothing more than getting to know new people in community and talking about yourself and your life.
Dream weaving is something we all do often without realizing it and one of the most powerful and effective ways of dream weaving is through participating in a Human Library event. Dream weaving can take on other forms through art, through music, through drama, through community volunteering and through working towards social change.
The two issues here are social stigma and social exclusion. You're probably well aware of the Big Five Prejudices of racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia but there are many other social markers through which people are judged, discriminated against, shunned, avoided, mocked, ridiculed and even physically and verbally attacked by others. People are judged for their physical appearance, age, the way they speak, the way they dress, the way they behave, for having a mental illness, an addiction, and so on and so forth.
These two widespread social issues not only stifle social progress and keep communities divided, they also often have profound and devastating consequences for the individual people who are affected by stigma and exclusion. Such people often struggle to find employment and work, they struggle with housing, are constantly denied opportunities, they often are rejected by their families and struggle to make friends, so are often isolated, lonely, marginalized, and excluded. Many turn to drugs, addictions, develop mental health issues, and all too often end up either dying prematurely or committing suicide.
These are just some of the outcomes. Let us not forget that social stigma and social exclusion are social processes which cannot be easily or readily solved by a single event. People who are affected by social stigma and social exclusion have no way of escaping the constant daily mental and emotional torture of stigma and exclusion. Stigma and exclusion are not like bullying, where you know a perpetrator. If you are stigmatized or judged you have to experience hostility and prejudice from many different people and you have no way of knowing who they are. This results in constant fear and anxiety, depression, a sense of unease and distrust, and makes the daily lifestyle experiences of such affected people much more difficult.
Their lives are made much harder by various barriers:
People affected by stigma and exclusion suffer a loss of socio-economic status so struggle to get secure housing, employment, and are denied opportunities for work, enterprise, education and many end up being effectively welfare trapped in the benefits system. As social stigma and exclusion is not recognized in the benefits system many people cannot get PIP and so are denied additional support. As a result many people struggle with money and exist on the brink of destitution.
People affected by stigma and exclusion are often estranged from their families, have few friends and very poor social support networks so are often isolated and vulnerable. Many such people can go months and even years without having any meaningful social interaction. Nobody wishes them Happy Birthday, they don't get invited anywhere for Christmas and have nobody to talk to about stuff. Many such people also live in places among neighbours who may be hostile to them so even leaving their home is a stressful event.
Many people affected by social stigma and exclusion invariably end up stigmatizing and excluding themselves through fear of further prejudice, hostility and attacks from other people. Things that many people take for granted, such as travelling by public transport, visiting a supermarket or meeting people can be a major stressful event and it is often the case that people out of fear and anxiety will not go out or attend meetings or events and will go out of their way to avoid regular social contact.
All of the above can lead to further practical barriers either through a lack of social support, access to friends, or even fear of regular, normal social events such as meeting a postman, going to see their GP, going to hospital, giving access to tradesmen for household repairs. Increasingly people are found dead in their homes having died in a way which was easily preventable or could have easily been avoided. Social stigma and social exclusion is by far the most important factor in every suicide and many premature deaths.
There are no solutions to social stigma and social exclusion. Each and every experience of stigma and exclusion is as unique and individual as the person who is affected. However the fact remains the same that all personal prejudices and assumptions we make about other people are conditioned, learned attitudes and behaviour.
They can all be unlearned.
Do not underestimate the power of these Human Library events or our work to address the traumatizing experience of social stigma and social exclusion. Each and every conversation which takes place at a Human Library event promotes humanity and empathy. Each and every conversation gives you valuable insight into other people and promotes social awareness and understanding. It helps to restore people's confidence, trust, helps tear down the different barriers which divide us, and builds stronger, much more inclusive communities. But more than this it empowers individual people, their individual life experiences and can often turn into a truly life-changing experience.
Our Human Library is a safe, inclusive and non-judgmental environment where anyone can connect to each other and talk about their experiences of stigma and exclusion with others, talk openly about social issues and barriers, and also discuss various ways of overcoming the various barriers and issues created out of social stigma and social exclusion.
You participate in the Human Library through being a member of the Qultura community. Participation in the Qultura community is completely free of charge and is accessible online through our Community Message Board. You also have access to various resources.
Qultura methodology is a set of mystical principles arranged into four components, accessible on this website, which gives you mystical awareness and insight behind dream weaving. You're not *required* to know this methodology or learn it, it's an additional resource made accessible for you if you need it.
The Community Message Board, attached to this website, is the online social environment for the Qultura community. You become a member of the Qultura community by registering on the Message Board to get a username which you can use at Human Library events and can connect to people between events online via the Message Board.
Human Library events take place in community space and are open to both Qultura community members and guests (people from the wider community) with a minimum two meetings, one daytime and one evening, every month in Nine Elms. More events can be scheduled as the community grows and develops.
If you have been affected by social stigma and social exclusion you can become a member of the Qultura Core community and become a Qultura community volunteer or activist and through our community access community support and opportunities to overcome barriers and issues which are affecting you.
Qultura is a developing mystical community resource which is both an alternative dream weaving community and a Human Library project. Centred in Nine Elms, London we offer free access to Qultura methodology, the Qultura community and regularly scheduled Human Library events. Through what we do we offer opportunities to develop consciousness, mindfulness and community to anyone interested in exploring and developing ways of living alternative to modern mainstream social and cultural values.