Museums used to be about static spaces and solid objects – fossils, artworks, treasures, the past, on shelves, in big buildings, in major cities. Roman Krznaric, author of Empathy: A Handbook for a Revolution, wants to establish a “playful, experiential adventure space for stepping into the shoes of other people and looking at the world through their eyes.” Krznaric believes that ’empathy’ is more than a buzzword, and can serve as a tool for peace, understanding, tolerance, and self-discovery. Having previously taught sociology and politics at Cambridge University, Krznaric also advises organisations such as Friends of the Earth, on using empathy and conversation to create social change.
Instead of the usual exhibits, visitors to the Empathy Museum – which in its first phase will be an international touring show and an online resource – will be able talk to individuals from cultures or sexual preference groups they don’t normally meet, or experience a meal in a darkened space to know how blindness feels, or work on a cellphone assembly line to experience the sweat shop environment. Krznaric has already created a digital Empathy Library, to share films and books with relevant content.
Chris Moss has been writing on travel, tech, sex, food, art and books for nearly two decades. He co-founded street paper Hecho en Buenos Aires, writes regularly for the Guardian and Telegraph newspapers, and is now writing a thriller set in Andalusia.
Roman Krznaric, Founder