I went into Bigtown on one of my biennial shoe shopping trips and found rather more than I had bargained for
More than 200 pairs of girls’ and womens’ shoes, placed there in solidarity with the kidnapped girls in Nigeria. You were supposed to take a selfie, I think, and tweet it or facebook it, but I stuck to photographing the shoes and talking to a few of the folk who were doing the organising.
I’m not 100% sure what I think of these sorts of campaigns – taking a selfie and sending a tweet doesn’t seem calculated to acheive much of anything except making ourselves feel a bit better about something, rather than helpless (you could say the same about pedalling on Parliament) and ‘trending on Twitter’ is not the same as ‘actually liberating 200+ schoolgirls from a horrible fate’. But then again, I do find it encouraging that people in Bigtown are taking time to act in solidarity with women in Nigeria. It’s not the most diverse of places, and it’s good to see it turn its gaze outwards once in a while. Long may it last, after the caravan of media attention has moved on.
Later, after the rain had returned, the shoes were gathered up and taken away, leaving only ghostly footprints which were if anything more moving
Meanwhile (to lower the tone somewhat) I have bought my first pair of Doc Martens since the last century. Obviously these days I channel ‘granny biker’ rather than ‘bovver girl’ (and they’re way more comfortable out of the box than they ever used to be) but it feels a bit like an act of solidarity with my 20-something self. Bouncing soles…