Home » A Mile in My Shoes | Empathy Museum in Cluj-Napoca
White Cuib Gallery, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Street,  no. 2/1
Cluj-Napoca, Romania
15 October – 5 November 2021
Opening at White Night of Art Galleries: Friday, 15 October 2021, 18:00


“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

— Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

What would the world look like if we treated ourselves and each other with more empathy?

Art has the power to move us and to make us attentive to both our own and other people’s feelings. An interesting artistic concept – The Empathy Museum, conceived by Clare Patey, an award-winning artist and curator who devises participatory installations, performances and exhibitions, aims to develop the skill of empathizing, by bringing empathy out of the realm of academia into the cultural realm. 

Empathy Museum is the world’s first experiential arts space of its kind, a response to our increasingly hyper-individualistic world driven by consumerism, where our social circles are small even online and where it’s easy to believe that everyone shares our values. It considers advances in neuro-scientific research that challenge the myth that we are exclusively self-interested and suggest that empathy is a skill that can be learnt.

Empathy Museum was founded in 2015, a result of many discussions between artist Clare Patey and writer Roman Krznaric. Since then, Clare has devised pop-up exhibitions which travel the world, with the help of producers at Artsadmin.

A Mile in My Shoes – A place to learn from and understand one another

A Mile in My Shoes is a shoe shop where visitors are invited to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes – literally. This roaming exhibit holds a diverse collection of shoes and audio stories that explore our shared humanity. From a Syrian refugee to a sex worker, a war veteran to a neurosurgeon, visitors are invited to walk a mile in the shoes of a stranger while listening to their story. The stories cover different aspects of life, from loss and grief to hope and love and take the visitor on an empathetic as well as a physical journey.


A Mile in My Shoes exhibition for the first time in Romania, in the city of Cluj-Napoca

A Mile in My Shoes exhibition is organised by Cluj Cultural Centre and will open in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, during the White Night of Art Galleries, starting from the 15th of October 2021 until 5th of November 2021. Twenty lifetime stories, of which five local stories, will be shared with the people of Cluj-Napoca curious to listen and empathize with others’ experiences.

This is the second stop of the traveling exhibition in the frame of the Art & Well-being project, the first one having taken place in Maribor, during Prelaunch Days of EKO 8 Triennial

“If I could be you, if you could be me / For just one hour, if we could find a way / To get inside each other’s mind / Walk a mile in my shoes / Just walk a mile in my shoes”

— Joe South

The exhibition is presented within the Art & Well-being project, co-financed by the Creative Europe program of the European Union, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the Cluj-Napoca Municipality.

* Local stories are recorded and edited by Sütő Zsolt.

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