Mayflower 400 Southampton

A Mile in My Shoes

In September, Southampton will welcome the award-winning immersive project from Empathy Museum. A Mile in My Shoes, will be at Westquay on the Esplanade from the 12-20th September, as part of Southampton’s Mayflower 400 anniversary programme.

A Mile in My Shoes is a shoe shop where visitors are invited to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes – literally. Wearing a pair of the contributor’s shoes, visitors go for a walk, listening to the shoes’ original owner telling them a story. The stories cover different aspects of life, exploring themes of shared humanity, from grief and loss to love and joy, visitors take an empathetic as well as a physical journey.

The installation will include stories from all over the world along with eight new local stories from Southampton, commissioned by Mayflower 400. Might you be walking in the shoes of a local radio host, a doctor leading the charge on a COVID-19 treatment, an activist, a musician, a Paralympian?



Opening times:

12th-20th September

Westquay on the Esplanade

Sat 12th – Sun 13th 10am – 6pm

Mon 14th – Wed 16th 10am – 4pm

Thu 17th – Sun 20th 10am – 6pm

To manage crowds we will be operating a booking service for this installation, you will select a 30-minute window to arrive and collect your chosen shoes.

Book your tickets here

A Mile in My Shoes has clearly had a powerful impact on people individually, but also in the way they think about our role in tackling real world issues. One of our most experienced General Managers wrote to me this morning to say that she was moved to tears by the experience, and I spoke to several people who were also powerfully affected. Tony Berry, Visitor Experiences Director, The National Trust

Empathy Museum is a series of participatory art projects dedicated to helping us look at the world through other people’s eyes. With a focus on storytelling and dialogue, our travelling museum explores how empathy can not only transform our personal relationships, but also help tackle global challenges such as prejudice, conflict and inequality.

Since the Empathy Museum was founded in 2016 over 30,000 people have taken a walk in someone else’s shoes with versions in locations across the world from Sao Paulo to New York, the Scottish Highlands to the Houses of Parliament.

Southhampton is Empathy Museums first outing since the Coronavirus lockdown and we have taken new measures to make the experience as COVID safe and enjoyable as possible. There will be shoe shop assistants on site, who will explain the process in more detail.

Find out more about Empathy Museum and A Mile in My Shoes here: 

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