What is a Human Library?


We assume that you understand that a library is a place where you can borrow a book just as you also understand that a book can contain a story. Okay so what if you could visit a library and borrow a human being with a story to tell? After all we all love a good story and we can also all tell a story about our lives and about our experiences, can't we? This is fundamentally what a human library is really all about.

The primacy of individual human life experience

This is what Qultura is fundamentally all about. We've taken our inspiration from the original Human Library which was started in Denmark 23 years ago and which is a growing global social movement, but we've added a twist in that fundamentally Qultura is an alternative dream weaving community. Nobody else in the United Kingdom is doing what we at Qultura are doing and that is to create a new alternative community where labels don't matter, a community of people who come together to empower individual human experience and have the opportunity to tell a different story.

Since our formation in 2009 we have been evolving as a community, have made many mistakes, and have gone through numerous incarnations. But the emphasis and focus of what we do has not changed and that is to shift the focus of attention back onto the primacy and importance of individual human experience.

We are still not popular as a community and this is where we need to talk about some difficult issues.

Domination culture and white supremacy

We've tried to be nice about this but now we're no longer prepared to sugar-coat this because despite decades of equality, diversity and inclusivity training domination culture is still as strong as it ever was and white supremacy is still as acceptable in some places today as it was in the 1950's. The vast majority of people labelled as black (primarily by white people) and regarded as a minority still experience racism in childhood. This is even before we begin to talk about androcentricity and sexism and the uncomfortable truth here is white supremacy exists, and gender inequality exists because domination culture exists and while domination culture exists there can be no social consensus, society will continue to fragment, communities will remain bitterly divided, and many people will continue to get hurt and stigmatized, and blamed and judged.

But let us also be clear that pointing fingers, labelling people, naming names, and finding fault, apportioning blame and recriminations is not the way to go about bringing change. Domination culture and social stigma destroys futures, wrecks lives and kills off human potential. You cannot unwreck someone's life, you cannot undestroy someone's future, what is broken stays broken and individual human experience and so much human potential remains lost forever. This hurts everybody in some way and places additional burdens and barriers on individual people.

At some point we need to reach an understanding where we understand that to be who we are, other people have to be who they are. This means facing up to the truth that we are all relative to one another. Hopefully we don't need to explain that men and women need each other but we also need to understand that labels such as white, black, gay, straight, trans, cis, disabled, and so on are toxic and divisive because fundamentally we are all human beings with a story to tell, experiences to share, and it is our stories, our experiences and our 'stuff' and emotional baggage is also what defines our humanity.

A safe environment for exploration and learning

This is what Qultura has to offer the wider local community and society in general a friendly, safe, non-judgmental environment where individual people can freely come together to explore, ask questions, share experiences, tell stories, and dig much deeper into what it really means to be human to discover our fundamental humanity and human empathy. The Qultura community since it was created at the end of 2009 in Nine Elms has always self-defined as an empathy-focussed community which rejects modern mainstream social and cultural values, rejects external authority in all its forms, is totally apolitical and seeks to empower individual human experience and promote individual human creativity, human empathy and the development of stronger, far more inclusive communities.

We're here to point out the truth and the truth is that domination culture, white supremacy, racism and bigotry is nonsense and foolishness. Nobody has any power or authority over you or anyone else, and you do not have any power or authority over anyone else. All these issues arise out of attachment to Ego, ideology and belief in external authority - all of which are imaginary, conceptual and have nothing to do with who you really are. Who you are is defined by your life experiences, your struggles, your lifestyle, your interests and your humanity.

But we can only provide you with the information, the resources, the platform and access to community, but it's down to you to liberate yourself and take back control of your mind. Participation and involvement is key. Just how serious are you about social change, liberation, and being part of a community?

Explore further

If you want to dig deeper into this we suggest the following pages..

Learn more about Qultura The Qultura manifesto How to get involved

About Qultura

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.