Sar San 2.0: A living library to dismantle prejudices

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The Sar San 2.0 ("How are you", in Romani language) project, realized by the ABCitta cooperative and the 21 Luglio Association, with the support of the Bernard Van Leer Foundation, operates in the vast suburban area east of Rome, characterized by a very high presence of Roma families in severe difficulties.

The aim of this initiative is to promote the rights and opportunities of Roma children and families and to improve their living conditions.

The activities of the project, which started its second operational phase in November 2013, aim to foster learning and psychosocial development of children, to create the right conditions for their full social inclusion and to involve them, along with their mothers and their families, in a new dialogue with the world around them and the institutions.

Sar San 2.0 foresees, among other actions, the creation of a living library to remove the most common anti-Gypsy stereotypes and prejudices in our country.

sarsan 350The method, born in Denmark, involves people who belong to marginalized and stigmatized social groups. As real human books - each with a title, a back cover and a story to tell - these Roma men and women let themselves to be "chosen and consulted by the readers", just like in a library. The "human book" and its "reader" will find themselves facing each other to communicate, to know each other, trying to break down the stereotypes that often the ''universe of readers " nourishes for some minorities.

The participants, among fifteen people between the ages of 18 and 60 years, began working on the prejudices confronting each other and with the leaders of the project.

Many stereotypes have emerged during the meeting, from the alleged nomadism of the Romma to the lack of interest to integrate into society, from the tendency not to send their children to school and to the idea that all steal and that they ​​are "ugly, dirty, nasty and violent ".