Feminist Strike: BFH organises ‘living books’ on care work

06.06.2023 Bern University of Applied Sciences is setting up a ‘Living Library’ on the topic of care work at this year’s Feminist Strike on the Bundesplatz in Bern. People who are themselves dependent on care work will take on the role of ‘living books’ to talk about their experiences. It will also be possible to offer yourself as a ‘book’ spontaneously.

How does it feel to be the recipient of care? What conditions are needed for care work to feel good? What challenges do care givers face? How do patients and social welfare recipients wish to be treated? How do recipients experience support from social work?

Anyone who is interested can find out more at this year’s Feminist Strike on 14 June 2023 at the 'Living Library' of Bern University of Applied Sciences on the Bundesplatz in Bern. The School of Health Professions and the School of Social Work will be setting up a kind of ‘library’ made up of people who themselves depend on others to care for them. As ‘living books’, they will report on their experiences and exchange information with other people affected.

The Living Library as a public engagement campaign

Everyone can spontaneously take part in the event as ‘books’ and ‘readers’. “To break the ice, we will bring along four to six people to speak as experts and ask questions,” Heidi Kaspar, co-director of the BFH Competence Centre for Participatory Health Care and initiator of the campaign, explains. The ‘Living Library’ will be open from 12pm to 3pm. The aim of the event is to build bridges, raise awareness and, where possible, feed the findings back into research and teaching at universities and universities of applied sciences.

Care work is predominantly women’s work

The Feminist Strike has been putting the spotlight on care work for a number of years. This is because care work is still predominantly done by women, unpaid and underpaid. With this campaign, BFH facilitates dialogue between research and society in which they can inform and inspire each other. “People who are dependent on care work are especially vulnerable,” Heidi Kaspar explains further. “We want the event on Bundesplatz to give them a voice and make it possible for others to hear about their experiences and contribute to improving health and social work services.”

Care Arbeit: Living Library Enlarge image

What is a Living Library?

At a Living Library living people act as books. They - not texts - tell their people's stories for conversations. These "books" are interactive: . The "readers" can listen to the stories told by the "books" or browse through the "book" by asking questions on a certain topic. At BFH’s Living Library at the Feminist Strike on 14 June 2023, everything will revolve around care work.

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Subject area: Management in Health and Social Services