Our Offices & Partners Abroad


«Shifting Places»: support for cultural practitioners who have fled to Switzerland

Graphic by Boris Siebs

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An initiative by artlink, supported by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.

Artlink launches «Shifting Places» with the support of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. This initiative is addressed to cultural practitioners and artists who have fled to Switzerland from war. It is built around the three main pillars of artistic creation: networking, creating and sharing. It will be implemented together with different cultural partners.

Responding to Realities

The war in Ukraine shows the impossible situation in which artists and cultural practitioners in war zones find themselves: their work is either interrupted by their flight or the working conditions on site have become arduous, sometimes life-threatening.

«Artistic creation is a way of life, of perceiving the world, of dealing with it and of communicating. Artists do not work for themselves, but for an audience, and often in exchange with peers. To stop creating as an artist also means to stop being seen and heard.»

Rahel Leupin, Head of artlink

 «Shifting Places» gives professional artists and cultural practitioners from all artistic disciplines supported by Pro Helvetia the possibility to continue their professional activity and to integrate their practice into the artistic scene of Switzerland. The initiative is an immediate reaction to the war in Ukraine; however, it aims to include artists and cultural practitioners from other regions and countries at war.

The initiative is set up for two years with the goal of transforming it into a long-term sustainable offer for the target groups. It follows the implementation of a first participatory research program by artlink, Here We Are, developed with and for artists who have immigrated and settled in Switzerland.

Offers : Meet! Work! Share!

The initiative consists of three subprograms Meet! Work! Share! Each aimed at different partners and target groups:


Impulse for artists who have escaped to Switzerland to discover the Swiss cultural landscape and building a network in Switzerland through peers in the artworld, a digital platform and physical meeting points to connect and exchange.


The next step after «Meet!» to develop further connections and start working in the new culture scene with two offers: Observer (cultural partners invite artists to their daily work practice) and Associated Artists (institutions offer residencies, fellowship or collaboration).


Alternative digital stages for artists in zones affected by war, in order to be able to develop and share their artistic work in collaboration with Swiss partners.

«This partnership aims at maintaining relationships between the Swiss cultural scene and cultural practitioners in and from regions in which artistic work is under threat. It’s important for the Swiss cultural scene to remain connected to peers in risk zones and to be able to reflect the role and mission of the arts in a global society.»

Philippe Bischof, Director of Pro Helvetia

About artlink and Pro Helvetia

Since its foundation 1984 artlink is committed to the inclusion of artists and cultural workers from Africa, Latin America, Southeast and Southwest Asia, and Eastern Europe (non-EU countries) in Switzerland as well as of artists with migration experience living in Switzerland.

The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia promotes contemporary arts and culture in Switzerland and abroad. It fosters the development of professional, international networks in all artistic disciplines supported by the Arts Council and strengthens international cultural exchange and cooperation.

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