Our Offices & Partners Abroad


Pro Helvetia launches a cultural exchange programme with Russia

Pro Helvetia is launching its “Swiss Made in Russia” exchange programme at the non/fiction book fair in Moscow today. Over the period 2013 – 2015 the Arts Council wants to make Russia’s contemporary culture scene more accessible to Swiss artists and to strengthen the network of cultural institutions in the two countries. If the programme is successful, Pro Helvetia plans to open a branch office in Moscow.

This is the first time that Switzerland has had a supporting programme at the internationally renowned non/fiction book fair in Moscow. The aim of the presentation in the Russian capital is to arouse interest in Swiss literature, to facilitate discussion and to encourage new translations into Russian. At the same time, the Swiss literary programme is also the launch pad for the new cultural exchange programme, “Swiss Made in Russia. Contemporary Cultural Exchanges 2013-2015”. The aim is to build up new networks linking Swiss and Russian cultural institutions and to strengthen existing cooperation over the next two and a half years. If the project is successful, the Arts Council plans to expand its network of offices abroad with a new one in Moscow. The special programme for Russia is mentioned in the message on cultural for 2012-2015, approved by parliament a year ago. Pro Helvetia’s legal mandate includes the promotion of international cultural exchange.

From Kaliningrad to Krasnoyarsk

“Swiss Made in Russia” has a wide brief: it covers the visual arts, literature, design, architecture, art in public spaces as well as music, theatre and dance. Two local employees, based in an office in the Swiss embassy in Moscow, are coordinating the cultural exchange programme on the ground. This is the way to make the best use of synergies. The programme is working not only with partners in the cultural metropolises of Moscow and St Petersburg, but also includes less well-known cities like Kaliningrad on the Baltic and Krasnoyarsk in Siberia. For its total duration of two and a half years and about 50 projects “Swiss Made in Russia” has a budget of 1.85 million francs. A number of different projects from all sectors are in preparation: for example, the Vidy-Lausanne theatre is working on a coproduction of “Le Syndrome d‘Orphée” with the Chekhov International Theatre Festival, to be seen in Moscow next summer. The successful “Playtime” exhibition at the Maison d`Ailleurs in Yverdon-les-Bains on video game culture is planning to visit Krasnoyarsk and Moscow in 2013. There will be a Swiss focus at the International Contemporary Music Festival in St Petersburg in 2013. And in a year’s time, Switzerland will be the official guest country at the non/fiction book fair in Moscow.

For more information on current projects and partner organisations see: www.prohelvetia.ru

Media information: Isabel Drews, communication,

Tel. +41 44 267 71 51, Fax +41 44 267 71 06, idrews@prohelvetia.ch

Media Release Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, 30.11.2012