On 27th April, T Project held their first Human Library here at A Good Space.

Participants were invited to a safe environment to learn and discuss more about the diverse stigmas and challenges faced by everyday Singaporeans – a collection of stories, told by the people themselves.

T Project volunteers for the day at the reception

A Good Space had the privilege of hosting four everyday Singaporeans, who came down to share their stories with the guests. The stories included a single father, a model/entrepreneur, a nurse, and a human rights activist. Every participant had the chance to hear from four unique and inspiring individuals, ask questions in an intimate setting and share thoughts, emotions and experiences in a safe space.

June Chua, Founder of The T Project

June Chua, Founder of The T Project, opening the event

Here’s what Meghan, a participant and volunteer Librarian, had to say about the Human Library:

I have tried to find the words to explain what The Human Library is, but essentially, it is what happens when a group of strangers get together and talk about things most strangers would never dream of sharing.

We talked about business. Family. We talked about dating. Funny things. Not-so-funny things. We talked about transitioning. We talked about being hurt, of tolerating hurt. We talked about beauty. We talked about parenthood. Single-parenthood. We talked about growing up. We talked about moving away. Marriage. We talked about passing privilege. We talked about sex work. We talked about self-image. Advocacy.

The librarians were advised beforehand to make sure no uncomfortable questions were asked, but the participants were respectful, and the books generous.

Photo from the T Project

Not everyone agreed on the same things. There were good questions and less interesting questions, as we tried to balance curiosity with reserve, as typical Asians do.

As a fairly normal cisgender girl from a middle class family, my life and struggles have been nothing short of completely ordinary. Still, it was a period of feeling inadequate and trapped, wondering how I should choose my next step in life.

Photo from the T Project

The Human Library didn’t suddenly, magically grant me enlightenment, or empathy, or make me take a radically new direction — surely those things take much, much, much more work on my part than setting aside a few hours of my life. The books felt like friends for a while, like teachers, like strangers you happened to chat with on a plane, people who would dip in and out of your life in a (short) period of time, but nonetheless change you in some way that you will never quite fully understand.

What did I think or do differently, how did my life change because I met them? I guess I’ll never completely know unless alternate universes have actually been real all this time and we find a way to see them — anyway what I’m trying to say is that I’ll remember them for a long time, although I may forget their names eventually.

Photo from the T Project

I don’t know how to describe the books — survivors? Heroes? Pioneers? Simply regular people trying to live good lives? They were definitely pretty amazing, however you choose to see them.

I really hope I’m not cheapening the wonderful experience I had at the event by dropping my favourite quote of Avengers: Endgame here, but it reminded me so strongly of what I felt at the event that I had to reference it — “Everyone fails at who they’re supposed to be… A measure of a person, of a hero, is how well they succeed at being who they are.” I’m glad that I met the books and the participants, and that for a short time, we were able to talk about things that complete strangers in their right minds would never share.

Kudos to June, Daryl, and her team at T Project for this successful Human Library, read more about it here. Thank you Meghan for sharing your reflections with us!

Connect with June Chua here and check out the T Project to find out what they’re about.

Follow us

Shu Xin Oh

Intern at A Good Space
Shu Xin spent most of her time interning at A Good Space. She savours her rare moments of freedom, and spends 90% of it dancing, 5% of it eating, and the rest wondering (or wandering). also loves talking to anything or anyone.
Shu Xin Oh
Follow us

Latest posts by Shu Xin Oh (see all)