SAO PAULO – Sao Paulo’s Empathy Museum boasts no paintings or other works of art, only well-worn footwear and audio recordings of dozens of personal stories that enable the visitor to literally walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.
The exhibit, “A Mile in My Shoes,” operates from inside a giant shoebox in Ibirapuera Park.
A pair of extra-large sneakers and the accompanying audio tell the story of “Alex,” a young black man who drifted into the world of crime and drugs after losing his family.
After more than a decade behind bars, Alex overcame his demons through boxing and he now devotes himself to instructing poor youngsters in the sweet science.
The visitor listens to Alex recounting his experiences while walking in the boxer’s shoes.
The Empathy Museum was inspired by the Native American proverb: “Never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins.”
“The proverb says that you can get to know and judge a person only after you have worn his or her shoes, and that’s what this exhibition does, literally,” Andrea Buoro, executive director of Brazilian BGO Intermuseus, told EFE.