Life & Sole


Perhaps more than any other garment shoes can be seen to reveal myriad politics, statuses and histories. The British Museum’s exhibition 'Life & Sole' examines the symbolic power of footwear from across the Islamic world. 5c26a256ab11402374699d79dc2c8cdc Through around 25 pairs of shoes, from slippers to boots and many styles, customs and manufacturing processes dating back to 1800, this exhibition aims to “represent the significance of footwear in Islamic social and cultural life and the impact of international trade and politics on footwear fashions.” shoes_slippers_624_2 With a distinctive collection and combination of shoes and related pieces from North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, Central Asia and South Asia, the show is worth catching before it closes on 15th May.

Images: Men’s leather shoes embroidered with gold thread. Pakistan, 1900–1930s. © The Trustees of the British Museum Stilted bath clogs (qabqab). Turkey, 1800–1850 © The Trustees of the British Museum Embroidered bridal slippers made of leather and silk. Ghadamis, Libya, 1960s–1970s.  © The Trustees of the British Museum

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