Embedded Tourism - participating in precarious living conditions

While the majority of people are looking for exotic and adventurous for holidays, the prevailing necessity of mobility and improvisation are a bitter reality for people under precarious living conditions. HOTEL GELEM invites to participate in serious living conditions, and invents new forms of exchange, illustration and reflection of the phenomena, which should have happened 'never again' after the second world war. HOTEL GELEM leads to places in which romantic transfiguration coincides with racial persecution - and it overcomes those new walls in Europe that divide our society dramatically.

Apply for a stay in a HOTEL GELEM

HOTEL GELEM allows participants to explore precarious living conditions first-hand. The Roma communities can invite so-called 'Embedded Tourists'. These tourists are then integrated into the community and experience firsthand the specific living conditions. Sleeping, eating, clothing, and personal hygiene are determined by material and infrastructural conditions. At the same time, visitors are also a bit closer to the dangers and inhospitable social, economic and physical conditions these people must live under.

The hosts are free to decide how they would like to interact with the visitors. This is not about putting the Romas up for display; rather, it is about giving visitors the opportunity to be immersed in specific situations that cannot be experienced through pictures or stories. Each specific situation compels improvisation and inventive survival tactics.

The conditioner under which you may visit a HOTEL GELEM is that the Roma community must decide to invite you. Your visit to the community should also have a tangible, positive effect, in which something grows out of your stay. You can apply here

Travel to new horizons

Gelem, Gelem is the hymn of the Romanies. Gelem means 'I went, I went on long roads' and relates to the expulsion and the killing of Romanies in Croatia during the second world war. The melancholic song has a sad actuality for many Romanies.

Tourism relies on spectacle and the consumption of the exotic. Spartan and precarious living conditions are perceived by tourists as an archaic picturesque Romanticism. They are even used increasingly as sources of inspiration in debates about architecture and aesthetics. Romany villages offer these motives. People live in derelict cottages or old trailers, some settlements are in caves or under the free sky. Often there are no sanitary installations. But the view from the outside translates the struggle for existence to contemplative live.

The Art project is neither a dramatization, nor a provocation or documentation, but a multilayered controversial intervention that shows impacts on all sides - knowing well that observation also changes the object of perception. Hospitality, openness, and the overcoming of their own shame will be demanded of the Romany communities. Instead the tourists will be put to the test themselves. Who would I be if I had to live in poverty? The tourists act at the same time as observers of the stigmatization and exclusion, and as guardian of the Romanies. Visitors also raise attention. They can save the community  to a certain extent from violations by their presence alone.