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"Loan a lesbian" idea to promote tolerance

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19:02 CEST+02:00
If you're one of those people who thinks all lesbians are sexually frustrated or all animal rights activists aggressive, then a Swedish library project that allows you to "borrow" a real live human being rather than a book may provide some useful insight.

The Living Library project will enable people to come face-to-face with their prejudices in the hopes of altering their preconceived notions, Ulla Brohed of the Malmö Library in southern Sweden told AFP.

"You sometimes hear people's prejudices and you realize that they are just uninformed," she said.

This weekend, nine people, including a homosexual, an imam, a journalist, a Muslim woman and a gypsy, will be available at the Malmö Library for members of the public to "borrow" for a 45 minute conversation in the library's outdoor cafe.

"Maybe not all journalists are know-it-all and sensationalist, just unafraid and curious. Maybe not all animal rights activists are angry and intolerant, but intelligent and committed," she said.

The nine "items" on loan were not hard to find, Brohed said, but admitted that they would be paid "a small sum" for their efforts.

If the project is a success, the Malmö Library may run it again later this year.

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