In Your Shoes: Essential, Or Not?
In the season finale of In Your Shoes, Eileen works as a farmer. Having only experience farming in games, she steps into the reality and hard work of a farmer. Eileen concludes if she feels that’s her work is essential to society.
A Viddsee Original Production
Director Statement: How does one define essentialism? What type of work is essential to Singapore’s society? Essentialism has been a controversial topic since the beginning, and it is no different, when The Straits Time pushed out an article “essential, or not” - Singapore thinks that artists are not essential to society especially in the time of a pandemic.
I look at the knee jerk, triggered reactions of artists, and I ask myself why are people upset? I ask myself, do I feel that way? Does our work define our sense of self-worth? Then I realised people may have associated the idea of being essential to the idea of being important. No one likes to think that what they do, is not important to society. To explore this further, I feel like I have to question my own relationship with my work - filmmaking.
Reductive thinking is dangerous, that’s where we experience inequality. Our inability to appreciate the nature of each job, to over categorise, is what creates a divide in society. After all, every job is created by man to fill a gap and to solve a problem or enhance society. In Your Shoes, essentially, is my way of exploring the connection and perception of work beyond filmmaking.
All jobs have it's identity and function, it’s not about what is essential. The real question begs - what is our relationship with our work?