Blondes are bimbos

21 May

Prejudices are what fools use for reason, as Voltaire said almost three centuries ago. Yet, prejudice persists as one of the main causes for exclusion. It’s a fine line between fact and fairytale..
Blondes are bimbos, gay men are drama queens, Roma women steal babies, Muslims are terrorists, unemployed people are lazy, rich people are pretentious, Chinese work hard, men are macho and women can’t drive.
What do you know and what have you heard? That’s what we, (Jamila Aanzi and I) asked the participants in our workshop “Diversity 2.0, the Impact of Inclusion”, taking place in Belgrade’s Grad Cultural Centre this week. During the next few days, our participants will be challenged to go out and meet some of the people they do not know, ask them questions, if possible visit their homes, in order to replace the “what have you heard”with a “what do you know”.
The Swedes found another solution to tackle prejudice, called the Living Library. This mobile library offers its visitors the opportunity to borrow a Muslim, obese person or even a priest. Originally started in Denmark by a youth organisation, the concept quickly caught on in a growing number of countries, from Australia to the USA.
The point of all of this? Don’t judge a book by its cover.

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