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Presented by South by South East

Joan’s enchanted shoe shop has appeared overnight and portals through time are hidden in the shoeboxes on the shelves. Will you take a walk In Her Shoes?

This event is non-ticketed.

In Her Shoes is an immersive installation experience exploring the concepts of identity, stereotypes, and relationship to home.
Your 20-minute adventure begins as you step inside a shoe shop built for one. With former Bata Shoes employee Joan as your guide, you’re transported through time and along the way, you’ll meet real women from Essex, past and present. 

As if by magic, the shoeboxes will transport you to the Bata Shoe Factory & Estate, the Marconi Factory, Kynochtown, and the Thames Explosive Works. You’ll visit Zimbabwe, Jamaica, and Southend Seafront in an intimate adventure that asks you: what is an Essex Girl? Will you take a walk In Her Shoes?

Learn even more about women from Essex and add your voice to the conversation at the In Her Shoes ‘Story Station’. Interact with prompts that surround the installation, read about other women from Essex and record your own story for our growing archive.


About the event:


How it works:


The experience is for one audience member at a time and runs on a 20 minute repeat, so time slots are essential.


Audience Accessibility


In Her Shoes has been created for one audience member at a time. If there are audience members who want to discuss any access requirements they have that they think may affect or hinder their performance experience, please email Roxanne Carney (Producer)



  • In Her Shoes is a solo experience that takes place in an enclosed space that can sometimes be dark. You will be asked to wear headphones for the duration.
  • The installation works on a rolling basis and restarts every 20 minutes. As such, it is important that you arrive at least 5-10 minutes before your time slot to ensure you start your experience exactly on time. We cannot admit latecomers and it is not a guarantee that we will be able to re-book your slot.
  • To keep the magic alive and to keep the secrets of the shop safe, photography and video recording once inside the installation is strictly prohibited.
  • For your safety, CCTV is in operation within the installation at all times.


In Her Shoes is supported with public funding by Arts Council England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Gulbenkian reviews

“Very thought-provoking and entertaining, all rolled into one”

“Anybody that goes into that space will come out with a totally different experience from the last person”

“You’re transported into a completely different world”


ART31 takes its name from Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child, which states that ‘Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities’.

ART31 is a vision created with, by, and for young people in Kent, championing the belief that all children and young people have an entitlement to access high quality arts and culture, to empower them to achieve their creative potential, and to genuinely engage young people as equal partners in any decision making that affects them.

The ART31 Youth Board is made up of young people from across Kent aged 13-25 who steer its governance, and influence policy and practice across the county and beyond, challenging the creative sector to examine existing ways of working and integrate young people into the core of their practice.

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