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NEWSLETTER 18.06.2014


When temperatures rise in summer, the desire for cultural events under starlit skies also rises. In the coming weeks, there are numerous festivals across Switzerland and beyond to choose from, each with its own unique atmosphere. The Belluard Bollwerk International festival in Fribourg has a lot of surprises in store inside medieval castle walls and an old station building. Choirs from Gruyere and Campesinos from Mexico can be heard in a forest clearing at the Obwalden folk festival. Berlin audiences have an unusual 1 August (Swiss national day) celebration awaiting them in the form of the «Schweizgenössisch» festival. And towards the end of August, the old city alleyways in Berne will be converted into one big open-air stage for reading. We wish you an enjoyable summer!


Pro Helvetia Communication


Design Day in Basel

«Von der Idee bis zur Eroberung des Marktes» (from idea to market conquest). This is the heading under which Pro Helvetia has organised a public debate on Design Day (18 June) at Messe Basel. Participants include experts and coaches, as well as up-and-coming designers supported by the Swiss Arts Council through its promotion programme for young designers. Design Day is jointly sponsored by the Federal Office of Culture, Pro Helvetia, the Creative Hub of Engagement Migros and the Swiss Design Prize with the aim of coordinating the promotion of design. Further information at www.prohelvetia.ch


Swiss Jazz Highlights in Montreux

For the first time in several years, Switzerland is strongly represented at the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival. On 11 July, pianist Marc Perrenoud from Geneva will present his new solo repertoire to audiences at the magnificent Château de Chillon, as will drummer Julian Sartorius from Berne. The unmistakable sound of the Geneva-based Trio Plaistow can be heard on the same day, accompanied by landscape projections in 3D. Further details at www.montreuxjazzfestival.com

Literary Encounters in Berne's Alleys

Literature aficionados in Berne are in for a treat between 20 and 23 August 2014. At the Bernese literature festival, around 40 authors are due to provide audiences with a taste of their art. They include well-known names such as Lukas Bärfuss, Pascale Kramer, Katja Petrowskaja, Jonas Lüscher, Tanja Maljartschuk and Adolf Muschg, and can be seen and heard on out-door stages not only in the old town centre of Berne, but also in Köniz, Meikirch, Münchenbuchsee, Schwarzenburg, Thun and Burgdorf. A new collection of texts named "Der kleine Tierpark" (The Small Zoo) by Robert Walser is being presented in front of the enclosure at the zoo Dählhölzli. Programme details at www.berner-literaturfest.ch

Gruyere Choirs and Mexican Campesinos

The Obwalden folk festival is again providing a stage for encounters with domestic and foreign traditions. Mexico is one of the guests, another is the Canton of Fribourg. Supported by Pro Helvetia, two of the best choirs from the Gruyere region, les Choeurs des Armaillis de la Gruyère et de la Roche, will bring their sound to the festival tent in a forest clearing. The Mexican group Campesionos, too, will be sure to touch audiences with their profound music. The programme is available at www.obwald.ch

First Virtual Biennale in Basel

From today, Basel is hosting «Virtuale Switzerland», which is, according to its organisers, the first-ever virtual biennale. It will also be stopping in Lausanne, Lugano and Zurich in the course of this year and the next. The virtual exhibition enables visitors to perceive public spaces in new ways with the help of augmented-reality software and computer games. In Basel, participants have five topic-based city tours to choose from. The project is supported by Pro Helvetia through its «Mobile. In Touch with Digital Creation» programme. Further information at www.virtualeswitzerland.wordpress.com

Atmospheric Multi-Disciplinary Festival in Fribourg

Fribourg lies on the linguistic border between German and French-speaking Switzerland. No coincidence, therefore, that Belluard Bollwerk International presents itself as a festival on the interface between local and international artistic creation, between various art disciplines, and as a meeting point for Swiss artists from different linguistic regions. From 26 June to 5 July, around 20 projects will be staged, benefiting from the unique atmosphere of a medieval castle and an old station building. The piece «Pflege und Verpflegung - À bout de soins» by KMUProduktionen, which focuses on working conditions in nursing and care-taking and is backed by Pro Helvetia, will be premiered on 1 July. Details on the festival at www.belluard.ch


Idyllic Alpine World Meets Big-City Culture

A slightly ironic Swiss national day celebration in the heart of Berlin? This is what the festival «Schweizgenössisch», created with the support of Pro Helvetia, has to offer at Kulturzentrum Radialsystem, the former Pumpenwerk. On the weekend of 1 August, Germany’s capital will be treated to urban sounds, cabaret theatre, music theatre, high culture and folk music. Opening the programme will be the «Eidg. Moos» music group with their unique pendulum yodel, head-loudspeakers and whooping machine, promising a witty alpine-world-nostalgic Swiss folk music evening. Further information at www.schweizgenoessisch.com

Art in Egypt’s Public Space

What role does art play in public space? This is the question raised by Pro Helvetia’s liaison office in Cairo. A website shows artistic projects in public space both in Egypt and in Switzerland. It also offers a platform for debate. Artist Huda Lutfi, for instance, takes up gender issues in the graffiti produced during the political upheaval. The platform, curated by Hamdi Attia and Markus Stegmann, goes live in 1 July with three artists each from Egypt and Switzerland. Details at www.prohelvetia.org.eg


Kick-off for 2014 Seminar in Avignon

From 17 to 25 July 2014, twelve young theatre practitioners are due to travel to the Festival d’Avignon for an intensive week of discoveries and encounters in connection with the programme presented by festival director Olivier Py. The seminar in Avignon, launched in partnership with Pro Helvetia, creates an international platform for in-depth exchange involving theory and practice. Participants this year include art practitioners from Switzerland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Russia and Australia. Further details at www.prohelvetia.ch

Projects by Up-And-Coming Photographers

Launching projects of their own is important in particular for emerging young photographers. The Swiss Arts Council is therefore supporting talented photographers up to age 35 in setting up a project by which they can position themselves in the field of artistic, documentary or applied photography. This may include coaching by experienced professionals. Further information on the conditions to be fulfilled is available here. Applications can be submitted up to 1 September 2014 via www.myprohelvetia.ch


An App for Short Stories on the Way

«Brotseiten» offers reading matter for commuters who are not satisfied with the fare offered by free daily papers. Backed by Pro Helvetia, the app for iPhones and iPads provides five new stories every two weeks for reading or listening to. They are written by best-selling authors such as Milena Moser and Charles Lewinsky, by slam-poets, free-lance journalists or newcomers, and are intended to provide food for thought for around 20 minutes. «Brotseiten» cooperates with renowned publishers including Diogenes and Kein & Aber. Further information and download at www.brotseiten.com


Large Media Response to Swiss Pavilion in Venice

The Swiss Pavilion, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, at the Architecture Biennale in Venice met with a wide media response. The general consensus was that this was no conventional exhibition, but that Obrist had broken with the traditional format of national pavilions and had instead – in the words of the Italian web magazine Artribune – created an interactive space in which the public can participate actively at various levels. In the Swiss paper NZZ am Sonntag, Obrist explains why this live experience based on face-to-face conversations is so important to him. Further information at www.biennials.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.