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Playground of Empathy - Walk in My Shoes Experience

Emilie Bidgoli May 18, 2021

Through Walk’s immersive interactions, the experience invokes emotional relatability that shares commonalities across all races and gender identities. At the same time, the subject matter of these scenes relates to specific moments of othering, which heighten participants’ exposure to the disadvantages and challenges experienced by people of racial and gender minorities. As a participant, you begin by answering questions around your own identity, inviting deeper introspection into your relationship between identity and self. This is also related to items of clothing you value. Thereafter, you are invited to open the garment bag of one particular individual, which is either pre-selected or chosen at this moment. First, you hear from their own voice (but never seeing their image), how these items represent emotions such as vulnerability, defiance, or confidence through the lens of their identity. Then, this voice invites you to enter into the experience, which begins with point-of-view films that are reenactments of actual moments in the life of the identity being experienced. Throughout these point-of-view films, participants are reading subtitles on the screen, which the characters then respond to, increasing the interactive and immersive quality of the experience. 

Directly after each point-of-view film, the identity also provides afterthoughts, bringing in context and often humility to their perspective on the filmed reenacted memory. Participants are asked a question after each scene by the voice of the identity, such as ‘What do you think about what you just saw?,’ ‘How did that make you feel?,’ or ‘Where did you feel that in your body?’. 

Participants then enter into dialogue with one another, increasing both perspectives through other participant responses, as well as a more salient context of how people with similar features as the identity being experienced may often be treated within society. By entering into these contexts which are tread carefully between the emotional, but not so personal as to create defensiveness, participants also often verbalize their rising awareness of corresponding advantages (privilege), to which they were previously less aware.

Format

Workshop

Meta Themes

  • Equity & Inclusion

Themes

Purpose and Desired Outcome

The desired long-term outcome is to increase full buy-in on DEI efforts across an organization and sincerely adapt a more inclusive policy.

Audiences

  • Academia

  • Corporate & SME

  • Accelerators & Incubators

Speakers

  • NameMicah Kessel
  • TitlePrincipal Founder
  • OrganizationPlayground of Empathy
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameNoah Rosner
  • TitleFacilitation Director
  • OrganizationPlayground of Empathy
  • StatusConfirmed
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