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NEWSLETTER 05.04.2012


Pro Helvetia made headlines in the past few weeks due to the publication of the controversial book «Der Kulturinfarkt» co-authored by its Director, Pius Knüsel. Despite the commotion this caused, the Swiss Arts Council remains committed to its mandate of promoting the diversity of Swiss cultural production and activity. Currently, this includes public readings and performances by four Swiss authors in Minsk and a special feature on Switzerland at the «Gamestage» in Berlin, supported jointly by the Zurich University of the Arts and Zurich Economic Development. Young dramatists in Italian-speaking Ticino are benefiting from a tailor-made support programme, while performance artists from the French-speaking part of Switzerland are offered a stage at the Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris.


Pro Helvetia Communications



Fewer administrative hurdles for jazz festivals

The four jazz festivals of Willisau, Schaffhausen, Stans and Cully are among the most important events in the annual calendar of the Swiss jazz scene. Regularly backed by Pro Helvetia, they nevertheless had to submit an administratively burdensome application for support each year. From this year on, the Arts Council has introduced a new model of promotion by which the festival organisers are guaranteed a fixed amount for three years. In return, the festivals undertake to include bands from linguistic regions other than their own in their programme. Further details at

Talking about computer games in Washington

Pro Helvetia’s GameCulture programme is much in demand internationally, especially in connection with discussions on the artistic dimension of computer games. Under the heading of Lunch Bytes, the renowned Hirshhorn Museum in Washington is organising three conferences and an evening event in collaboration with Pro Helvetia, the Goethe-Institut and the Swiss Embassy. The range of topics discussed includes digital narrative structures, security aspects and amateur art. More information at


Ticino dramatists on air

Pro Helvetia is breaking new ground in its promotion of young dramatists in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. Cristian Bubola, Katya Troise and Massimiliano Zampetti have been selected by competition for a scenic reading of their plays, which will be recorded and broadcast on the local Rete Due radio channel in May. From this, a winner will be elected, who will have the opportunity of elaborating on his or her play together with a coach. The competition was jointly organised by the cultural department of the Canton of Ticino, the culture-oriented radio station Rete Due and Pro Helvetia. Details at and



New sounds for Moscow audiences

Caroline Charrière, Jacques Demierre, Daniel Ott and Urs Peter Schneider: Four Swiss composers who are virtually unknown in Russia. This is now set to change. In connection with its special focus on Russia, Pro Helvetia, together with the Swiss Embassy in Moscow, is supporting the chamber music festival called «Fenster zur Schweiz» (Window on Switzerland), to be held between 5 and 10 April in some of Moscow’s top concert halls. The programme includes not only contemporary, but also classical and old music from Switzerland. It can be accessed at

Playground Switzerland

Developers, entrepreneurs, politicians and game enthusiasts are due to gather at the «Deutsche Gamestage», Germany’s leading game developers event, from 25 to 29 April. The programme includes a special feature called «Spielplatz Schweiz» (playground Switzerland), with game developers giving presentations and conducting workshops and the Swiss Game Design exhibition on show at the computer game museum. The Swiss presence was initiated by Pro Helvetia, Zurich Economic Development, the Zurich University of the Arts and the Swiss Embassy in Berlin. Programme details available at

Paris discovers la Romandie

The Extra Ball festival at the Centre Culturel Suisse (CCSP) in the midst of Paris’ Marais district has become a well-known item on the Parisian cultural agenda. From 24 to 28 April, the CCSP is staging contemporary arts from the French-speaking part of Switzerland, the Romandie. The programme presents performing artists who vacillate between different arts disciplines, such as the Théâtre en Flammes company from Lausanne and the performance duo Gilles Furtwängler and Anne Rochat. Details at

Geneva duo on tour in the Middle East

Overcoming national borders in order to expand one’s artistic horizon. The dance platform Masahat Dance Network, founded in 2006, makes this possible even in the volatile region of the Middle East. It has invited the Geneva-based company 7273 to take part in the two dance festivals of Ramallah on the West Bank and Amman, the capital of Jordan. In 2011, the duo won the Swiss dance and choreography award. Their Middle-East performances this year were initiated by Pro Helvetia’s liaison office in Cairo. Further information at

Abstract art for children

In 1983 Andy Warhol produced a legendary exhibition for children at the Bischofsberger gallery in Zurich. Now Francis Baudevin, an artist from Lausanne, is paying homage to this icon of pop art with «Tell The Children / Abstraction pour enfants». His exhibition – held in Lyon – of abstract, mostly geometric art is aimed at the art lovers of tomorrow. The pictures will, of course, be displayed at a child’s eye level. Details at

Literary spring in Minsk

The literary scene in Belarus is largely isolated from the West. All the more surprising, therefore, that four Swiss authors can be heard in Minsk on 21 April. At this year’s German studies day, organised by the Goethe-Institut together with partners, the programme features creative writing workshops with Franz Hohler and Andrea Neeser and spoken word performances by Stefanie Grob and Gerhard Meister. Further information at


Focus on performance scene

To be à jour on the performing arts, at least in French-speaking parts, you need to know «Mouvement». Together with Pro Helvetia, the arts journal issued a special publication at the end of March entitled «La scène suisse dans tous ses éclats», which shows just how vibrant and diverse the contemporary performance scene in Switzerland is. It is accessible online at Printed copies can be ordered via


Swiss literature in the Big Apple

Swiss book prize winner Catalin Dorian Florescu and Monica Cantieni were among the six specially selected German-language authors invited to participate at New York’s «Neue Literatur» festival in February. According to the renowned German paper «Frankfurter Allgemeine», the event, backed by Pro Helvetia, is indispensible because, in ways far removed from bestseller lists and eye-grabbing marketing coups, it advertises books that have not yet found a publisher in America. The «Wiener Zeitung» therefore spoke of a contest by reading. Further information at


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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.


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