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Pro Helvetia boosts cultural collaboration with South America

Between 5 and 12 October, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia launched its latest programme called «COINCIDENCIA – Swiss & South American Cultural Exchanges». The aim is to intensify ties between cultural practitioners and institutions from Switzerland and the Latin American continent. The programme also serves as a trial run in view of a future Pro Helvetia liaison office in South America.

With four consecutive events in Santiago de Chile (Chile), São Paulo (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Bogotà (Colombia), Pro Helvetia last week officially launched its new programme entitled «COINCIDENCIA – Swiss & South American Cultural Exchanges». The programme intends to facilitate access for Swiss artists to contemporary cultural scenes in South America and to foster exchange between the two sides’ cultural institutions and practitioners.

The COINCIDENCIA programme is run via a decentralised cultural agency in the above-mentioned four countries. It is due to last for four years and encompasses the entire range of arts disciplines promoted by Pro Helvetia: visual arts, design, music, literature, theatre, dance, interactive media and interdisciplinary projects. Other activities on the agenda include artist residencies, research trips, projects and tours.

Deepening existing ties
Promoting international cultural exchange is part of the Swiss Arts Council’s legal mandate. Projects by Swiss artists in South America already enjoyed the support of Pro Helvetia prior to the launch of COINCIDENCIA. In the past five years, financial backing was granted for over 300 performances, exhibitions, tours and other activities in various parts of the continent. The purpose of COINCIDENCIA is to structure and deepen these relations, a goal that is also in line with the government’s cultural policy statement for 2016-2020. «Our new exchange programme COINCIDENCIA was set up not least in response to the widely expressed wish by Swiss arts professionals to expand their contacts and experience with the vibrant and diverse cultural scenes in South America» explains Sabina Schwarzenbach, Director ad interim of Pro Helvetia. Assuming the programme proves successful, the Arts Council intends to open a permanent liaison office in South America.

Pro Helvetia – global network for Swiss arts
Pro Helvetia promotes Swiss arts and culture on behalf of the Swiss Confederation. It fosters cultural exchange between Switzerland’s various linguistic regions and contributes to the dissemination of Swiss arts abroad. It also provides cultural impetus through initiatives of its own. The Arts Council runs the Centre culturel suisse in Paris and supports the arts programmes of the Swiss Institutes in Rome, Milan and New York as well as swissnex in San Francisco. In Cairo, Johannesburg, New Delhi, Shanghai and Moscow, Pro Helvetia maintains liaison offices that function as locally managed cultural agencies.

More on «COINCIDENCIA – Swiss & South American Cultural Exchanges»:
https://prohelvetia.ch/en/initiative/coincidencia/

Media relations:
Lisa Stadler, communication
lstadler@prohelvetia.ch; +41 44 267 71 51

Media Release of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, 13.10.2017