So if you’re not up to speed on things yet, things have been a little slow around here because I was super busy! One of the major festivals happening in Singapore in the last 2 weeks was the Singapore Arts Festival, and while I admit I’m not much of an artsy sort in my every day life, the programmes that they brought in this year are pretty fascinating, especially after someone’s taken the time to tell you about them – which is what I’m going to do here! (you can check out my earlier review of another Arts Fest programme called Umbrella for 2 here)
This particular programme resonated with me because it’s something we’ve all encountered as travellers – the best thing about a hotel room which makes it different from living at home, is to come back after a long day to a perfectly turned down bed and clean towels. But who makes it happen? You rarely ever see the people responsible for it as they only enter the room when you’re out, or unless you’ve been a chambermaid yourself…
Hotel – Hotel Maids is created by Lola Arias, a part of Ciudades Paralelas or Parallel Cities, which explores parts of the city which are often overlooked. Hotel in particular explores the lives of the hotel chambermaids, the invisible forces that keep our hotel rooms neat and tidy. Who are these people, what are their lives like? This really unusual show happened on site at Ibis Novena Singapore, where visitors went to installations in several rooms that told stories about the lives and experiences of these elusive chambermaids.
A visual journey if you will:
All in all, I really enjoyed this programme, though I wish that we could have heard more local/Asian stories of chambermaids – while I appreciate the international flavour happening here, it was the Asian stories that really resonated with me, and I would have liked to hear more of those! Meeting them was also really cool – I think I’m a pretty decent hotel guest who doesn’t trash rooms, but it’s really made me more conscious of these invisible figures, and maybe I’ll leave a tip the next time =)
If you’re curious to find out more, check out this video below. Ciudades Paralelas has made its way to cities like Buenos Aires, Zurich and Berlin, but this is the first time it’s been in Asia. the Ciudades Paralelas website has videos of each version of Hotel it’s undertaken so far.
Two other versions were also available at the Singapore Arts Festival which sold out – Roof – Review (I had gone for a preview of this and it was quite illuminating), as well as Factory – La Fabrica (my favourite one of the lot).