Home » A Mile in My Shoes exhibition reflections: “Walking in someone else’s shoes is like waking up to reality”

White Cuib Gallery, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Street,  no. 2/1

Cluj-Napoca, Romania

15 October – 5 November 2021

Opening at the White Night of the Galleries: Friday, 15 October 2021

A Mile in My Shoes traveling pop-up exhibition arrived in Romania for the very first time and was open to the public for about three weeks, in a cozy, intimate spot from the heart of the city of Cluj-Napoca. During this pandemic period about 300 visitors explored the theme of empathy in a simulated shoe store, having the opportunity to walk, literally, in someone else’s shoes, while listening to their life story. Twenty lifetime stories, of which five local stories, were shared with the people of Cluj-Napoca curious to listen and empathize with others’ experiences. The stories covered different aspects of life, from loss and pain to hope and love and took the visitor on an empathic as well as physical journey.

Visitors were invited not only to listen and to walk in someone else’s shoes, but also to make an exercise of reflection and anonymously share what they felt while doing this.

Walking in someone else’s shoes is like waking up to reality. Getting out of your own bubble and seeing life from a different perspective. It is humbling. It makes you feel grateful and realize that we are all connected as a collective.

Such a nice and empathic experience, more thoughtful and deep than I expected. It’s a strange feeling to hear someone’s story told by them while actually wearing something they owned. Thank you for the opportunity, will come back for sure.

For 50% of the participants who answered the survey carried out immediately after visiting the exhibition, the experience was meaningful, made them feel emotional and reflect on their one lives. 

The words that best describe the participants’ experience at the exhibition

The simplicity, yet effectiveness of the exhibition brought to the fore the importance of awareness, of learning, knowing how to listen and to understand the other one, being a small step towards a kinder society.

The exhibition was organized by Cluj Cultural Centre and was 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.

#AMileinMyShoes #ArtandWellbeing #InnerSpace #CreativeEurope #AWE