Didem Doğan

The Museum Hotel of the Immigrants

In the beginning of the 19th century millions of immigrants came to Argentina to find new job, new home, new country. This building built in Puerto Madero on the port of Buenos aires was used until 1953 as an immigrant hotel where they were given shelter, food, health care during their first months here in this new country until they could find a job. Within the Bienalsur programme we visit it to watch the Brazilian fashion designer Ronaldo Fraga’s show at night and we have the opportunity to visit the museum as well. The bank beds, the luggages with various personal objects, the letters they wrote to their loved ones who were far away are exhibited. It is quite emotional to see the objects left from thousands of stories who were at the edge of a new life. Another district of Buenos Aires that is historically significant in terms of immigrants is San Telmo, today a bohemian quarter with antique shops. Actually, the famous Recoleta cemetery was built due to an epidemic that caused thousands of dead in San Telmo (at that time where the immigrants’ ships were chained) and that’s how the population of the city moved from here to the center.