Our Stories: A Living Library Project


In the Spring of 2017, the Koffler partnered with Toronto’s Hearts & Minds Living Library Collective to create its’ third collaborative educational program, Our Stories: A Living Library Project. Grade 5 and 6 students from Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School and Rose Avenue Public School engaged with themes of diversity and cultural identity, as human ‘books’ and ‘readers’ of one another’s stories.

This project ran in conjunction with the Koffler Gallery’s Spring exhibition 2Fik: His and Other Stories, and welcomed visual/performance artist 2Fik, as well as Vine Award winning author, Emil Sher, to share their creative talents with the students. After a series of workshops, both schools came together to meet and share their stories in a final collaborative ‘living library’ event at the Koffler Gallery.

This was a really good experience because it was really interesting and fun to share your story with others and let others speak to you and kind of tell their stories from the heart.
Student Feedback

I really liked this experience, it was really fun. And it was fun getting all the treats. And it really encouraged children to do this activity. It was really exciting sharing your own personal experience with everybody, and it was also interesting to hear other people’s experiences. And I really wish we could do this again.
Student Feedback
We were sharing things that were personal to us and we’re sharing them with people that we’ve never met before or seen in our lives. We don’t even know their names and yet we share something personal. It makes us closer and it encourages you to have a bit more courage with sharing personal stories with people and it just feels nice to have somebody listen to you story.Student Feedback

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Photographs by Mary Anderson.
Audio by Nick Dywelska.
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