Empathy Museum presents ‘A Mile in My Shoes’ and ‘A Thousand and One Books’

Empathy Museum

LIFT Festival

Launch – 9th June: 6 to 9pm
Weekdays: 3 to 7pm
Weekends: 12 to 7pm

In June Empathy Museum curated by artist Clare Patey will be taking over Peninsula Square with ‘A Mile in My Shoes’ and ‘A Thousand and One Books’ two shipping containers disguised as a shoe shop and a library. Everyone is welcome to come and borrow a pair of shoes and a head set, and listen to a life story while walking a mile around the Peninsula. Or borrow a book from and hang out at ‘A Thousand and One Books’, a social space for the exchange of ideas, stories and feelings.

Exploring how empathy can have the power to transform our personal relationships and tackle global challenges, this series of events and installations invites you to step into someone else’s shoes and see the world through their eyes.

As part of the presentation of Empathy Museum we also present a day of events around the subject of Empathy and focusing on a Human Library event in Peninsula Gardens curated by Xenia Mosley on Saturday 25th June.


A Mile in My Shoes

Started in Vauxhall, travelled to Perth and now has a Greenwich Peninsula reincarnation, with new stories from this growing community. With contributions that range from a sewer worker to a sex worker the stories cover different aspects of life, from loss and grief to hope and love and invite you on a journey and to step by step walk your way into someone else’s life. From stilettos to roller-skates take a turn in someone else’s waders. What is it like to have spent years in prison, or to have rediscovered love in your eighties? The Empathy Museum will help you find out.


‘A Thousand and One Books’

‘A Thousand and One Books’ is a mobile library housing a crowd-sourced collection of people’s ‘favourite’ books for armchair travel into other lives and worlds together with a wandering book club  It will explore how through sharing stories we can look at the world through another person’s eyes and develop our empathic brains.

In the lead up to June an Indiegogo crowd-funding-style campaign will gather a crowd-sourced collection of books for the library. Each book will be a gift from an individual donor responding to the request to ‘donate a book that has changed your life’ to a new library. Each book will carry a personal inscription from the giver and will be stamped ‘A Thousand and One Books’ to identify it publically.

The ‘A Thousand and One Books’ library is designed by studio Brighten the Corners and theatre designer Cathy Wren. A giant pile of books on Peninsula Square with an entrance to the library at one end. Books on display inside the space will be available for visitors to borrow and experience a journey into another world – what it might be like to be a child growing up in Tehran, or to be born without sight, or to be a soldier fighting someone else’s war?

The books can be borrowed, brought back, read in the space, left on a park bench or be gifted on. Each reader will be asked to contribute feedback adding to the story and journey of each book.