SHOES THAT THINK PROJECT

Museums, as entities responsible for the preservation and the territorial and identity appreciation of the communities of which they are part, have an important role in the development of society. Building bridges between the past, present and future, museums become privileged venues for dialogue. They are places to arouse curiosity, which contribute to the cultural transformation and, no less importantly, promote the development of more sustainable societies.

In this context, the Shoe Museum introduces the “Shoes that Think” project. This is a project-process that builds itself and where the object “shoe”, stripped (or not) of its primary function, takes a prominent place. Appealing to the disquiet, emotion and reflection suggested by the shoes we wear today in the world, “Shoes that Think” is a challenge to all those who question and make us question the world around us, the present time and the futures we want to create.

 

TRUTH HURTS

In the context of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, this exhibition-installation gives voice to countless women that had their lives shattered by acts of violence.

Violence against women is one of the most transversal to History and world societies, across social status and age. There are many accepted actions of profound violence, such as genital mutilation or sex trafficking, which are still practised today because of social pressure.

Often justified by cultural tradition, religious dogma or instituted power dynamics, these are acts of violence against women which end, in many cases, in tolerance or even impunity for the aggressor.

Pointed out for their lack of decorum, blamed for the free way they dress, accused of teasing, pressured to reduce their social contacts, subjected to unfounded accusations, objectified for their gender, these women feel defeated, worthless, with no way out.

Sharing their stories, the darkest moments they lived through and their experiences of resilience, serves as a warning and as motivation so that these cases don’t repeat themselves, so that justice is done and they are brought to justice and not hidden under a cloud of shame and embarrassment.

Truth Hurts! Talking about things is reliving what happened, but it is also an act of courage and the first step towards healing. And the silence of those who also share these problems, even not being direct victims, must stop existing.

Violence against women is a global issue and Portugal is no exception. The numbers are daunting when it’s been announced that, in 2020, there have already been 11 thousand cases of domestic abuse alone.

Added to this number there is gender-based violence, obstetric violence, sexual harassment, psychological abuse, financial abuse, sexual trafficking, moral harassment, stalking and bullying and any other kind of abusive behaviour. And this is a reality that must rapidly be eliminated.

And so, once again, the Shoe Museum acts as the conveyor of this message paying tribute to the victims of gender violence.

Put on a pair of these shoes and let yourself feel… and imagine if one day, this same pair might also come to tell your own story to someone else.

These are not victims’ shoes, but they serve the purpose of, symbolically, helping each and every one of us tread these women’s paths. The colour red is the colour of the feminine and love, but also the colour of blood and the life that is interrupted here and postponed to an uncertain future.

Like Léa says, The dream is one of the first things that is lost… and dreaming is fundamental to living.

SHOES THAT THINK PROJECT