Signpost at the crossroads of cultures

On October 31st, 2019, at the Third High School Jan Kante had a meeting with Living Books implemented by the Center for Intercultural Initiatives Horizons. The meeting was one of the events implemented as part of the “Signpost at the Crossroads of Culture” project thanks to the support of the Culture Department of the Poznań City Hall. This is the last event of this type implemented in Poznań schools.

The proposed meeting in the form of an adaptation of the Living Library method (www.humanlibrary.org), i.e. a meeting with foreigners living in Poznań (volunteers of the European Solidarity Corps, students), sensitizing to other people, accustomed to “otherness”. During the workshop, participants “borrow” a volunteer – A Living Book for conversation, have the opportunity to learn about the culture, art, traditions and customs of people from other cultural circles.

The meeting gave pupils and pupils the opportunity to broaden their horizons in the area of the currently extremely important topic of intercultural and interreligious dialogue and also allowed the guests to ask the most bothering questions to the invited guests. It was also an opportunity to verify your own, often stereotypical views, which is the first step to building reliable, evidence-based knowledge.

The goals of this Live Books workshop were: – to create a platform for intercultural dialogue between young people from Poznań and the foreigners living here – to raise awareness about the role of identity and culture in meeting “the other” – shaping an attitude of openness and tolerance towards otherness, striving to understand a man from another cultures – development of language competence and cultural expression. It was a place of reading interaction. Here, however, the books were not rigid volumes, but people and their stories, who represented various national and cultural groups. We often pass these people on the street, and yet we do not know much about them. 

MEETING WITH LIVING BOOKS was an opportunity to confront your ideas with reality, but above all to meet other people.

The organizers’ team included: – Living Books: Calin from Romania, Zacharoula from Greece, Anna from Ukraine, Ayse from Turkey, Narek from Armenia, Enrique from Mexico, Esther from Taiwan and Vijayant from India – moderator and coordinator of the meeting: Bogusia Garus.

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