Life, Liberty, Democracy and happiness
Thanks to a society which values the rights of individuals to free public services and spaces like libraries
Vol 9: 46 -Debt Traps in Ghana and globally
A goodbye + another game of cards
Vol 9 :015: Thanks
Thanks and respect and memory.
The life of the passenger Pigeon owed to the species
Time / Attention / Compassion

Contribute to the Book of Debts

Is there something you owe, or are owed, that you would like to draw a line under? A sum of money, an action left undone or a word left unsaid? Or something owed to or by a third party, individual or institution?

You can enter your debt and its story - into the Book of Debts here, now. All contributions are anonymous and you can add as many debts as you like.

The Book of Debts will then be recited and burned, one volume per location, as part of the final performance in each city, in a symbolic act of absolution.

To follow what happens to the Books and their remains, enter your email address when asked and we will invite you to the tour finale in 2015.

Click on Contribute to begin.


For the loss of youth, for the absurdity of war. We owe so much

DEBT NUMBER 360235115231312
OWED TO Lambeth's Libraries and before that Skewen South Wales Carnegie Library
OWED BY myself and family

A community needs its libraries. They are resource centres and encapsulate knowledge and expertise. Books are written to share these social emotional, personal, political historical , economical truths as well as stories reflecting society the environment , and the arts. They are an information sharing source for people who don't always have access to other means of gaining and sharing information i.e. the internet.


The new lending boom in the global South is being fuelled by banks AND governments. While low interest rates in the US and Europe are leading banks and other private lenders to speculate on developing country debts, aid donors are giving more ‘aid’ in the form of loans rather than grants. Around £1.8 billion of UK aid was given in the form of loans in 2013, mainly through the World Bank. This is 15% of the overall aid budgetEarlier this month, Ghana agreed a loan from the IMF which will be entirely used to help meet debt payments. In 2015, 16% of Ghana's government revenue will be spent on foreign debt payments, including paying over 8% interest rates to international speculators. Ghana’s debt payments are predicted to continue to rise, and could be as high as half the government’s income if expectations of high economic growth are not met. Yet while a new debt trap is well on the way to being set, it is by no means inevitable. Responsible lending policies by lender nations like the UK, and the institutions they control, can still avert a crisis. We’re calling on the next UK government to take three key steps:

  1. Grants not loans for all UK aid, and international lenders the UK funds
  2. Tax justice so that countries don’t have to depend on excessive levels of debt
  3. Fair debt rules for countries, to show reckless lenders they won’t be bailed out and to stop vulture funds profiting from crisis to support the campaign


My Grandad, you were moved into a house 18 months ago before you died because Grandma passed away + you needed help with your Alzheimers. Because it was too hard, I never visited you at the house. Sorry you forgot about me. How about another game of cards? Love Laurie

DEBT NUMBER 360234211201210
OWED TO my friend Ed
OWED BY His regular dinner date

Well young man, you did it. You would have said it was perfect. Couldn't have been better scripted; dinner out with a good friend, stimulating conversation, good wine, and after that, a quick exit. We talked on the phone that day, made our date for the following week, the next morning I get the call that you checked out. You old bugger! It was all too fast. No hospitals to visit, no final words to share, no funeral, no grave to linger by when I need to remember you. Just gone. A bag of dust left under a tree to erode. If it was left to me, I would have thrown you. I would have grabbed handfuls of your dust and I would have run along that Lake Huron shore. I would have made sure that it was a blustery day so the wind would lift you up and carry you far. I miss you Young Man. I miss our morning emails and quirky conversations. I miss your beautiful smile and perfect teeth. I miss the mental challenges we gave each other. I miss your laugh and even the wet kiss you planted on me after each date. You weren't the best kisser I'm afraid but you were such a living soul. I should have known the time would come but I didn't want to. I have a confession. If you had been twenty years younger I would have said yes.


My friend David fought in several countries all over the world, sadly he was injured in 2010. Slowly he taught himself to walk and write again. In 2014 he came into my life to I say a big thank you to whoever or whatever saved David so that I could love him


To my great, great, great uncles. Tom and Richard Garley who died in world war 1. Love heart. Xxxxx

DEBT NUMBER 20029553212
NATURE OF DEBT Ecological, Other
OWED TO the species
OWED BY humanity

The extinction of the passenger pigeon is one of the most terrible stories of slaughter in the history of wildlife. In the nineteenth century, it was the most abundant bird species in America. Accounts are common of incredible flocks—travelling up and down the length of the United States—that were truly massive: 300 miles long, a mile wide, taking an entire day to pass by. One single flock contained an astounding 3.5 billion birds! Yet by the turn of the twentieth century, everything had changed for the passenger pigeon: just a few decades of relentless extermination forever banished it from the Earth. The last passenger pigeon in the wild was reportedly shot by a boy in a cornfield in Ohio in 1900. And in 1914, Martha, the world’s last known passenger pigeon, died in captivity in the Cincinnati Zoo. Passenger pigeons, to a great extent, fed the colonization of America. Slaves and servants in 18th and 19th century America often saw no other meat but passenger pigeon. Later, as railroads penetrated the upper Midwest after the Civil War, they were a source of cheap meat for the developing cities of the East Coast. With this, the extinction of the passenger pigeon came with stunning rapidity. Michigan was its last stronghold: three million birds were shipped east from there by a single hunter in 1878! Thousands were shipped east each day. Eleven years later, in 1889, the species was extinct in that state. The once vast flocks of pigeons could not withstand slaughter on this scale. By the 1890s, the large flocks that had once been so common had all but disappeared.

DEBT NUMBER 360233161677
OWED TO My mother
OWED BY Daughter

I always fought with my mom every time I wanted to go out with my friends. She would go " everyday you have to go out? Why don't stay home with me?" " why do you want me to sit with you when you are just watching TV? I don't want to watch TV", then out I go. She worked so so hard at home, did everything for us. I wonder how she could do all this ? I used to go to work and come home so tired that I just want to lure down, of go out of course! She used to go to work, come home to cook and do so many other things. On the weekend she would clean and visit my grandmother... My mom died last year! I feel I owe her time and attention. I wish I had spent more time at home with her. I wish I had offered her a helping hand more often. I wish I had told her I loved her as much I want to tell her now. When she was very sick, I was there for her. I did everything for her and her smile would make my day, but why did I wait that long to do those things fir her? It was as if I thought she would be there forever....I was so dumb.. Debt is a terrible thing! I can't sleep....I can't smile....I can't live...