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Pro Helvetia’s cultural magazine Passages is published two times per year. Each issue takes up a subject of cultural relevance to Switzerland. Passages regularly commissions articles from distinguished Swiss and foreign authors.

Passages Nr. 65: Past, Present and Future

75 Years of Arts and Culture in Switzerland This year we have multiple anniversaries to celebrate. 75 years ago, Pro Helvetia opened its first small office on Hirschengraben in Zurich, in the historic building in which we are still located today. 30 years ago, the first issue of Passages was published, coinciding with the inauguration …

Passages Nr. 64: Beyond the Limits

Open Borders, Blurred Boundaries The current issue of Passages tackles a potentially limitless topic: our experiences with borders. Contributors include the theatre critic Alexandre Demidoff, on the dissolution of the traditional division between the audi-ence and the stage; the author Pedro Lenz, on the challenges of translating literature from one language into another; and the …

Passages Nr. 63: Staging Spaces

The Scenographic Imagination The concept of “scenography” originated in the theatre, but it no longer refers to classical stage design alone. Nowadays, the staging of space occurs throughout the public sphere: from the political speech to the shopping centre, from the virtual worlds of video games to prison cells and entire villages. This issue of …

Passages Nr. 62: Cloud Culture

Digital Media and the Arts What is the future of the book? How does transmedia storytelling work? And what can intercultural exchange contribute to the field of game design? The current issue of Passages looks at how the digital shift is affecting arts and culture. Among the themes: the challenges faced by traditional art institutions, …

Passages Nr. 61: Design? Design!

The Forms of Our Lives From corporate design to nail design and design hotels: “design” is everywhere, and it shapes the way we experience the world. Design is a medium through which a society communicates its origins and its goals. But what is design really about? Passages takes a glimpse behind its seemingly glamorous surface …

Passages Nr. 60: Here and There

Art, Society and Migration How do contemporary artistic practices reflect the realities of multicultural society? In the current issue of Passages, dancer and choreographer Ioannis Mandafounis talks about his globetrotting life between airports, hotels and rehearsal rooms. Swiss-Cameroonian author Max Lobe pokes fun at the clichés of “here” and “there.” And theatre curator Shermin Langhoff …

Passages Nr. 59: Dream Job Artist

The Obstacle Course to Success Many are called, but few are chosen: that is the harsh reality of the arts. Only a lucky few can make a living from their art alone, and yet being an artist remains a dream job for many. Read the current issue of Passages and find out how newcomers can …

Passages Nr. 58: The Taste of Freedom

Art and the Egyptian Revolution How has the Egyptian revolution affected the country’s artists? Passages reports on the role played by artists in the uprising, and on their reactions to ongoing developments. Read about the precarious status of freedom of expression in post-revolutionary Egypt, the responses from foreign cultural institutions based in Cairo, and a …

Passages Nr. 57: Performance

Body, Time and Space In recent years, a lively young performance scene has sprung up across the artistic disciplines, experimenting with new forms, venues and themes. The latest issue of Passages highlights contemporary currents in the Swiss performance scene, inquires into its political potential, and looks at the role played by the audience. Online ordering …

Passages Nr. 56: Browsing, Blogging, Tweeting, Tagging

Cultural Journalism in Flux The economic crisis and the success of the new media have changed cultural journalism. Read why the culture section continues to hold its own contrary to all of the eulogies, and discover the lighthouses among the culture blogs. Online ordering below. Cover price: CHF 15,00.–

Passages Nr. 55: Creativity and Culture Shock

Cultural Exchange Around the Globe Cultural exchange across national borders and between continents opens one’s eyes both for what is foreign and for what is one’s own. Read about how Swiss artists find an audience in India, whether cultural exchange with Africa is possible on an equal footing, and why the Venice Biennale is a …

Passages Nr. 54: Computer Games: The Art of the Future

The Art of the Future Computer games have become a permanent fixture in our everyday lives, as designers, scriptwriters and composers team up to create digital Wonderlands located somewhere between art and commerce. In the current issue of Passages you can read about an avid gamer’s holiday with her virtual family, how scientists tinker away …

Passages Nr. 53: Art Will Make You Happy!

This issue of Passages is dedicated to the felicity provided by art. Conceived in tandem with the Forum Kultur und Ökonomie (Culture and Economy Forum), this issue of Passages assembles a range of responses to the proposition that “Art Will Make You Happy!” A writer, a cultural studies expert and a psychoanalyst (among others) try …

Passages Nr. 52: The Power of Babel: On the Art of Translation

For Fuminari Niimoto, work on the Japanese translation of various texts by Robert Walser is at once hellish and magnificent, while Eugène, the Swiss writer with roots in Romania, takes mischievous pleasure in recounting his career as a “bilingualist” in multilingual Switzerland. We owe our world literature “made in Switzerland” to translators. Passages offers a …

Passages Nr. 51: Intro(se)duction to the Arts

What is arts outreach, and how does it motivate those without a stake in the matter? Should an artifact capable of explication be considered a work of art at all? Might it be that the cultural sector has no other option, in an era dominated by an omnipresent leisure industry, than to make of outreach …

Passages Nr. 50: Strange Bedfellows – Culture and Politics in Conversation

Are they a dynamic duo, or just a marriage of convenience? Do they cross-pollinate, or are they merely co-dependent? Culture and politics maintain a symbiotic relationship that is as remarkable as it is idiosyncratic. In Strange Bedfellows: Culture and Politics in Conversation, we give politicians and artists the floor by polling young parliamentarians for their …

Passages Nr. 49: Chinas Cultural Scene

Caught between traditional values and booming expansion, the clash of an ancient legacy with modern times in China is more glaring than ever. In the span of one single generation, a land of rice farmers has become a factory supplying the entire globe. Among these superlatives, the Chinese independent cultural scene is seeking its place …

Passages Nr. 48: Misunderstandings

The discovery of America. The Trojan Horse. Juliet’s death – and Romeo’s too. The world is full of misunderstandings. They are an integral part of our culture, arising out of nowhere to insinuate themselves into everyday life as well as world events. All the more so in our age of global dialogue. Clearing up misunderstandings …

Passages Nr. 47: New Accents in Swiss Music Promotion

The music world is in a state of upheaval: the sale of CDs is collapsing, record shops are disappearing, but the internet is booming: digitalisation is opening up new channels of distribution, and community websites like MySpace and YouTube provide new opportunities for self promotion. Even traditional folk music is going on line and experiencing …