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Kira Appelman: Living Library of Collective Wisdom for Social Change

Living Library of Collective Wisdom for Social Change

Kira Appelman

How does personal transformation affect social change? How is knowledge preserved, exchanged, and internalized? The Living Library of Collective Wisdom is a platform for open dialogue to address these questions through the making, reading, and sharing of pocket-sized books. Within the library are my own artist books, a collection that illustrates some inspirational words of my role models – modern revolutionaries who promote personal transformation as a necessary step before achieving societal transformation. Every craft decision I made – book structure, media, and lettering style – attempts to capture and interpret how each of the unique voices of activists, writers, grassroots organizers, and spiritual guides spoke to me. They offer lessons on tending to our relationships with ourselves, individuals around us, our communities, and our environment by seeking and practicing a compassionate higher consciousness. After reading my artist books for inspiration, participants are encouraged to use provided craft materials to create their own artist books and then contribute them to the Living Library. By asking participants to take part in the creative process, the exercise emphasizes every person’s ability to share their visions for the future and contribute valuable wisdom to an expanding collective knowledge.