Why I Started This Blog

Tales from Humanitarian Bohemia is a blog that unabashedly supports the values of tolerance, cosmopolitanism and internationalism. It’s primary function is to review literature related to the field of human rights, humanitarianism and social justice from both the fiction and non fiction genres.

The reasons I started it were to better articulate my thinking concerning what I was reading in this field, as well as to provide an educational resource.

I love reading. I like to think this is demonstrated by my yearly goal of reading at least 24 books a year. That mightn’t be as impressive as what other bibliophiles get through in a year, but I believe that getting through two books a month is a decent benchmark.

I believe that the consumption of a plurality of literature or written media should not be passive. Reading for me is a form of conversation between the author and the reader where one can reflect on their own beliefs in light of what the text is presenting. It is a chance to expose ourselves to new ideas and to challenge ourselves.

Unfortunately, the phenomena as described above is a solitary pursuit, and the interactivity between the two parties involved is limited. While it can stimulate us to look at things in a different perspective, the process described above is a monologue being conducted in the reader’s mind. As such, I want to create a medium that provides a dialogue with fellow readers about what I am reading.

I am also passionate about human rights. I am a committed member of Amnesty International, and am the convener of the local multicultural chapter of that organization in Nagoya, Japan. I have also been long involved in asylum seeker/refugee activism to varying degrees. I am also active in the local chapter of Climate Action Nagoya. In short, I believe in being an active citizen, which I view as a countermeasure to becoming an object of law as opposed to being a subject of it.

I want to combine my two passions of activism and reading to also connect with other kindred spirits. I want readers of this blog to use it to bring attention upon and to discuss issues that don’t make it into the public discourse for various reason. I want to make it clear at this point that I am not the final authority on any of the fields that this blog is related to. I welcome discussion with the honest and well intentioned, as this is a way of deepening one’s own knowledge and outlook. Through these types of exchanges, we can find ways to collaborate on activist projects and make contacts across borders. While this is a work in progress, I eagerly await the conversations that are to be had here.

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