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NEWSLETTER 05.02.2016


Last spring an announcement by Diogenes, a Swiss publishing company, made headlines. For cost reasons, they said, they would no longer rent a booth at the Frankfurt Book Fair. This announcement was generally interpreted as a sign of how precarious the situation for Swiss publishers and booksellers had become. Pro Helvetia has now launched a new tool to help promote Swiss books abroad. It enables all book-related practitioners – including publisher associations – to raise the visibility of Swiss books outside Switzerland by joining forces at fairs, festivals and other book events. After all, books should not only be written and published, but also be read.


Pro Helvetia Communications


Better Access to Potential Readers

Pro Helvetia has been supporting Switzerland’s three publisher associations, SBVV, ASDEL and SESI, with regard to their presence at the most important international book fairs since 2012. Additional means are now available for the 2016–2020 period for practitioners in the field of literature and books to promote Swiss publications abroad. The main focus is on art, photography, design and children’s books. Pro Helvetia’s target is to boost international awareness of Swiss books. Further details at www.prohelvetia.ch

New Faces at Pro Helvetia

Ms Claudia Knapp has stepped down from Pro Helvetia’s Board of Trustees and been replaced by Susanna Fanzun. Ms Fanzun (52) is a free-lance documentary film maker and journalist, and the Swiss Arts Council stands to benefit from her in-depth knowledge of Rhaeto-Romanic culture and its media landscape. Pro Helvetia’s Committee of Experts has two new members, Peter Kraut (e-music) and Cristina Foglia (literature). And the body of Independent Experts advising Pro Helvetia has been supplemented by specialists in the fields of circus and music theatre. Further information on organisational matters at www.prohelvetia.ch


Arab Literature Days at Literaturhaus Zürich

The «Tage Arabischer Literatur» event looks at literary and other artistic responses to the ongoing upheavals in the Arab world. From 26 to 28 February, Literaturhaus Zürich will be welcoming authors, musicians, translators and publishers from Egypt, Tunisia and Lebanon. Together with Swiss colleagues, they will – in panel discussions, readings and concerts – try to outline visions of a new society using their own specific form of expression. For programme and tickets go to www.literaturhaus.ch

South Africa as Focal Point at Antigel Festival

«South Africa, what’s up?» For visitors to Geneva’s legendary Antigel festival, answers to this basically simple question open up impressive insights into South Africa’s contemporary culture scene. Albert Silindokuhle Ibokwe Khoza explores sexuality, religion and uprooting by means of traditional song and dance in «Influences of a Closet Chant». Further highlights include the «South Africa! » club night – with Black Coffee, Nojinza and others – on 6 February and «Card on Spokes» on 8 February. The festival runs until 14 February. Programme at antigel.ch


Ten Swiss Games at Developers Conference in San Francisco

The annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco is considered to be one of the industry’s leading global get-togethers. It is there that a host of innovative ideas and technological advances are presented to the world. For this year’s conference from 14 to 18 March, Pro Helvetia is sending ten Swiss-based studios it had selected and supported following its «Call for Projects: Swiss Games». The studios’ presence at the event is organised by the Swiss Arts Council in collaboration with Swissnex San Francisco. The aim is to help Swiss game developers forge and strengthen ties with the international games industry. Further information at www.gdconf.com

Appenzell Family Ensemble «Geschwister Küng» in Lima

From 9 to 17 March, the Peruvian capital Lima is hosting the 2nd International Festival of Highland Music, featuring an impressive line-up of local and international folk musicians. The string ensemble «Geschwister Küng» from Appenzell, supported by Pro Helvetia, will this year be representing Switzerland. Known for the fresh forms it gives to traditional music, the family-based group has already been on tour in many parts of the world with its award-winning arrangements and original compositions. Festival details at festivaldealturas.pe

An Exhibition Like a Stage Setting for Stories in Books

The works of artist and writer Jérémie Gindre from French-speaking Switzerland regularly transcend boundaries between genres. In his exhibitions, he expresses himself through drawings, sculptures and texts, inspired by his interest in history and geography. Starting on 10 February, Kunsthalle Mulhouse is showing «Camp Catalogue», an exhibition like a stage setting for written and still to be written stories. After its premiere in Rennes last summer, Jérémie Gindre’s exhibition in the Alsace will now be supplemented by winter variations. Details at www.kunsthallemulhouse.fr

Partnership with Maison de la Poésie in Paris

Pro Helvetia and Maison de la Poésie near Centre Pompidou are boosting Swiss literature. In partnership with Pro Helvetia, the Parisian institution is introducing Swiss authors, publishers and translators to the French public. Following the opening event on Pascale Kramer’s latest novel, «Autopsie d’un père», a musical presentation with David Bosc is scheduled for 15 March, before Geneva-based publishers Éditions Zoé and Editions Héros-Limite are given carte blanche on two further evenings. The programme can be accessed at www.maisondelapoesieparis.com

Rich Selection of Swiss Dance in China

In spring, Art Basel in Asia will be a key focus of Hong Kong’s art world. Thanks to its liaison office in Shanghai, Pro Helvetia can make use of this heightened attention and – with its «Swiss Window in Asia» programme – put the spotlight on the Swiss dance scene. From 15 March, audiences in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Macao and Beijing will have the opportunity to discover six choreographers and stage directors from Switzerland, some of them for the first time. Alexandra Bachzetsis, Marie-Caroline Hominal, La Ribot, Yann Marussich, Martin Schick and 2B Company will all be on tour in the Middle Kingdom. Further information at www.prohelvetia.cn

Ticino Street-Art Duo to Design Container Depot in New Delhi

The street-art duo «Nevercrew» from Ticino has been invited to design a monumental wall painting at the St+art Festival in New Delhi. Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni, who have been working together for twenty years, are part of a group at St+art responsible for artistic interventions in the public life of the Indian metropolis. In addition, they contributed to a walkable installation involving hundreds of ship containers on the premises of the Inland Container Depot, the largest freight traffic centre in Asia. Details at


Up and Away to Avignon!

Avignon in July offers visitors everything except boredom, with the annual theatre festival holding the city in thrall. From 16 to 24 July 2016, young stage practitioners can gain close-up experience of this unique event by taking part in an international project for up-and-coming theatre artists. «Le Séminaire en Avignon», which includes accompaniment by an experienced coach, is organised by Pro Helvetia in conjunction with the festival management. Theatre practitioners active in Switzerland can download an application form here or obtain it via theater@prohelvetia.ch.


Exploring New Swiss Folk Music

Swiss folk music has been on a steady upsurge for a number of years. Dieter Ringli and Johannes Rühl’s latest book, «Die Neue Volksmusik», is dedicated to this phenomenon, for which there is no straightforward explanation. The authors approach the topic with circumspection and tact in the form of 17 carefully edited interviews. The publication – resulting from a research project by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts with the support of Pro Helvetia – provides fascinating insights into the ongoing dynamic development of the folk music scene. Details at



You can submit your applications electronically via: www.myprohelvetia.ch


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Pro Helvetia

Swiss Arts Council

Hirschengraben 22
8024 Zurich

Editor: Isabel Drews

Translations: Martin Striegel

Pro Helvetia supports and promotes Swiss culture in Switzerland
and throughout the world.