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Focail Eile

2018-10-19 16:08 —

Living Library in Belfast City Council

Each year, Good Relations Week is coordinated by the Good Relations Council  with support from The Executive Office, the Department for Communities, the Department of Justice and other government agencies throughout the north of Ireland. Under the theme “Then, Now… Next?” events covered issues including cultural diversity, dealing with the past, faith, sport, young people and language. In April we marked the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Belfast Agreement, so it has already been a time of reflection and stock-taking. However, the year has also been full of thoughts about the future... Brexit… Through Good Relations Week, events and people were showcased who have chosen to build and sustain good relationships across the diverse community. The commitment and willingness to build good community relationships is the fabric of peace and it is changing the way we will share the future.

One such event was the Living Library organsied by Belfast City Council. The Living Library allowed us to borrow a 'person' instead of reading a book, and we sat with a person / living book for a one-to-one 20 minute conversation. The 'books' included former republican and loyalist paramilitary prisoners who are now involved with cross-community work, the journey a Somalian woman made to gain asylum in Belfast, the centre in loyalist East Belfast teaching Irish lessons, as well as politicians. Here we are pictured with Anna Lo. She explained to us what it was like to be the first elected representative from a minority ethnic background in the north of Ireland as well as her stance on overcoming rascim. 

This was a very enjoyable event and a interesting way to 'read' a book in order to 'hear' the story!! Maybe an idea for other languages!!