The Empathy Museum invites Londoners into a giant shoebox to hear migrant stories

Jessie Thompson
Kate Raworth

An immersive exhibition invites visitors to walk in someone else’s shoes - by stepping inside a giant shoebox.

The Empathy Museum’s acclaimed immersive exhibition A Mile In My Shoes was first unveiled in 2015 and has since travelled the world. It offers visitors the chance to listen to audio stories from refugees and migrants who have made London their home.

The exhibition aims to send visitors on a “physical and empathetic journey”, making them walk a mile in another person’s shoes (literally) whilst listening to the stories. Diverse perspectives include a man from Syria who first arrived in the UK concealed inside a suitcase and a woman from Uganda who fled the country separately from her partner and spent months searching for her in London.

It will be installed outside The Migration Museum in Lambeth as part of its latest exhibition, entitled No Turning Back: Seven Migration Moments That Changed Britain.

Clare Patey, director of the Empathy Museum, says the exhibition encourages “radical listening”.

It is a chance to spend time with someone we might not otherwise meet in our day-to-day life and see the world from that person’s perspective,” she said.

Patey is an artist who co-founded the Empathy Museum in 2015, along with cultural thinker Roman Krznaric. They aimed to create a “museum without walls”, that would be the world’s first experiential arts space.

A Mile in My Shoes runs until February 25 - more information about opening times can be found at