Mission and Principles

Mission Statement
To establish a centre of competence for art in the context of conflict mediation and peace building in Switzerland.

To initiate art projects in affected regions in the aftermath of war; in the process of reconstruction and democratisation, and to supplement established humanitarian work with art.

To conduct such art projects together with local partner organisations, and to jointly document and evaluate them.

To support ongoing diplomatic peace-building mediation by independent national or private institutions with specific artistic initiatives at various levels of society.

To conduct research and analyse the existing examples and methods of art within the context of conflict mediation and peace building and to apply this research to new initiatives.

To network between individual initiatives for art in the context of conflict mediation and peace building and to encourage an exchange of experiences.

To publicly present initiatives of art in peace building outside of conflict areas and foster dialogue.

Point of departure
Engaging in art is a basic human need. Humanitarian support in the aftermath of conflicts should provide time and space for art.

Art offers a specific way of relating to the world. It invites us to let go of utilitarian calculations, sharpen our perception and see the supposedly known in a new way. Accordingly, it creates new perspectives for conflict resolution.

Art allows us to communicate experiences that are difficult to put into words and to bring together people of very different cultural backgrounds. Creating a space beyond everyday concerns, art invites us to experiment with new ways of acting. Artworks stimulate discussions and exchange of opinions between conflicting parties.

Through art, disregarded and economically deprived people can assert their dignity and gain a hearing and personal recognition. In that, art is similar to religion, but it can intervene in situations where religion is politically instrumentalized.

In order for art to develop this potential, it must not be subordinated to any fixed goals or purposes – no matter how good the intentions might be. It needs a space of trust in which to play, without guaranteed outcomes or proven effects.

The above applies to quality artistic work in all forms, media and traditions (visual, music, dance, drama, film, literature, etc.).

Guiding principles
The foundation is non-profit. Its purpose is to provide help and opportunities for self-help: for its sponsors and partners it wants to create the possibility for meaningful commitment. For those who are directly exposed to violence, it wants to enable experiences and encounters that will give them support in overcoming this violence.

In its work and cooperation with other organisations, the foundation subscribes to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The foundation has no political affiliations.

The foundation calls upon art of quality in different media and from different places of origin, and provides it with the necessary space.

With its projects, the foundation seeks to create lasting effects by fostering cooperation between artists based in conflict areas and artists from other countries or regions.

The foundation works together with highly qualified public and private institutions in the field of international peace building and endeavours to supplement their established practices and methods with contributions from the arts. The foundation makes its sponsorship transparent. It ensures that its donors give their support free of political obligations and without imposing conditions on the artistic work.


The Board of Trustees determines the guidelines and priorities of the foundation’s work and supervises the work of the office. It ensures the financial stability of the foundation, determines its structure and is responsible for its annual reports and financial statements. The Board of Trustees elects the Presidents and Vice Presidents of the foundation and works on an honorary basis.

The Presidium consists of two people, both are members of the foundation’s Board of Trustees and are elected by it. They act as representatives of the foundation. The president manages the foundation’s board and represents it officially. The Vice Presidency is operational.

Heidi Tagliavini (President)
Swiss Diplomat

Swiss Diplomat, President of artasfoundation

Heidi Tagliavini joined the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) in 1982. A Swiss career diplomat for 30 years she served in 19 bilateral and multilateral assignments. In 2008 the Council of Ministers of the European Union appointed her as the Head of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission for the Conflict in Georgia (IIFFMCG). Her first assignments were in Bern and Lima. In 1989 she was transferred to the Swiss Embassy in Moscow. At the end of 1992 she was sent to The Hague as Councillor and Deputy Head of Mission at the Swiss Embassy. In 1995, Heidi Tagliavini was deployed as a member of the first OSCE Assistance Group in Chechnya in the middle of the Chechen war. In 1998, after a second term as Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the Swiss Embassy in Moscow, the UN Secretary General appointed Ambassador Tagliavini as Deputy Head of Mission to the UN Special Representative for the conflict in Georgia (UNOMIG). In 1999, she returned to the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs to head the Political Affairs Division of the Political Directorate dealing with human rights and humanitarian policy. In 2000, the Austrian OSCE Chairperson-in-Office appointed her as her personal representative for missions in the Caucasus. From 2001 to 2002, Heidi Tagliavini was Swiss Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2002 the UN SG appointed her as his Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG). Back in the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2006, she served as Deputy Political Director and Deputy State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry. After the release of the EU commissioned report on the conflict in Georgia in 2009, Heidi Tagliavini served as the Head of the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission in several elections: the presidential election in Ukraine in 2010, the Duma elections 2011 and the presidential election 2012 in the Russian Federation as well as the presidential election in Armenia in 2013. From 2008–2012 she was also Diplomat-in-Residence at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. Heidi Tagliavini, born in Basel, Switzerland, completed her studies in philology in Geneva and Moscow. She speaks eight languages and holds two honorary doctorates from the universities of Basel and Bern. In 2013 she was awarded the Human Rights Prize by the International Society of Human Rights, Swiss branch. In the same year Heidi Tagliavini received the Gold Grand Decoration of Honor for services to the Republic of Austria.

Barbara Ellenberger
Dramaturge, consultant, lecturer, co-initiator KlimaKontor Basel

Barbara Ellenberger was born in Zurich and studied theatre directing at the Schauspiel Akademie Zürich (todays ZHdK). She has been working as a free director and dramaturg and from 1996 as a theatre educator and dramaturg at the Schauspielhaus Zürich. From 2000 to 2007 she was Head of Dramaturgy and Executive Director of Drama at the Stadttheater Hildesheim and from 2007 to 2015 Executive Artistic Director of the TAK Theater Liechtenstein. 2015 to 2019 she was Executive Artistic Director of the Miller's Theater in Zurich. Since 2011 she has been part of the Board of artasfoundation and since 2020 part of the Board of Directors of the Kosmos-Kultur AG. Further educations in the fields of leadership, change management, organisational development, systemic structural constellations, solution-oriented coaching end mediation. Teaching activity and consultation with focus on solution-based project management. Currently she is developing the project KlimaKontor Basel, that is initiating art projects, which develop solidary and innovative responses to the climate crisis.

Angelo Gnädinger
Former Director General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Angelo Gnädinger was Special Representative for the South Caucasus on behalf of the Chairman of the OSCE. Prior to that, he was Director General of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Interim Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.

Dagmar Reichert (Executive Director)
Cultural Geographer, Consultant, Lecturer at the Zürich University of the Arts (ZHdK)

Dagmar Reichert, born 1957 in Vienna, studied sports, geography and philosophy in Vienna and Toronto, held research fellowships in Stockholm and Cambridge, worked as visiting professor at the University of Bologna, the University of Salzburg and the ETH Zürich (MA, phD and Habilitation in human geography). From 2003 onwards, she was full professor for Cultural Geography at University Kassel and resigned early in 2006. At present she teaches cultural theory at the Zürich University of the Arts and runs a firm for research and consulting in Zürich.

She is author or editor of several books (‘Wissenschaft als Erfahrungswissen’, 2000, ‘Räumliches Denken’, 1996, ‘Limits of Representation’, 1994, ‘Umwelt zur Sprache bringen’, 1993 and ‘Ortssuche’, 1993) and has organized various cultural events and exhibitions (Airolo, 2007, Shedhalle Zürich, 2003; Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, 2002; Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin, 2001). She lives and works in Zürich.


Isa Stürm

Isa Stürm studied architecture at the ETH Zurich and earned her diploma in 1983 under the direction of Dolf Schnebeli. She was an assistant to Adolf Max Vogt at the chair for the theory and history of architecture at the ETHZ. She worked with Santiago Calatrava and Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron before creating an architectural bureau with Urs Wolf in 1988.
Isa Stürm Urs Wolf SA is active in Switzerland and abroad. Among its earliest projects were the Plarenga Domat-Ems garage (1988), the building for the Bureau of Social Security (SVA) of the canton of Zurich (1998), and the housing built on the Röntgenareal (1999). For Expo.02 they developed the Federal Swiss pavilion ‘Wer bin ich?’ (‘Who Am I?’ 2002). They also created exhibition architecture for Swiss Design, Akris, the Swiss Art Awards and exhibition stands for industrial and design products. They designed store interiors for Issey Miyake, Yoshi Yamamoto and Kerquelen in New York. Public building projects for culture with landmark status were the Kunst(Zeug)Haus in Rapperswil-Jona (2008) and the ‘Culture Depot’ Lokremise (locomotive depot) in St. Gallen (2010). Other major projects were the Art Museum in Liechtenstein, the Automobile Museum in Teufen, the Nam June Paik Museum in Korea, the Maritime Museum in Aaland, the Martyr’s Square and the Grand Axis in Beirut, Mobile Aids Clinic for Africa, the Presidents’ Lobby at the UN in New York, and the Housing Cooperative Waidmatt in Zurich. Current projects include the newly opened Stadthaus in the industrial district of the City of Zurich and the fashion showrooms in the Bahnhofstrasse. Their buildings and projects have received many awards.
Isa Stürm is actively involved in the theoretical discussion on architecture. She lectures regularly, participates in juries, project evaluations and discussions, and writes essays. She has worked as architectural expert for the Federal Arts Commission and visiting professor for architectural projects at the EPF in Lausanne. Isa Stürm sits on the boards of the Zurich Kunsthalle and the Sitterwerk Foundation in St. Gallen.

Margit Wästfelt
Austrian diplomat

Margit Wästfelt, born 1948 in Graz, Austria, studied law and French at the University of Graz. During high school she spent one year with the American Field Service in the USA. She worked as assistant professor at the Institute of Civil Law at Vienna University and continued education through postgraduate studies at the Vienna Diplomatic Academy. In 1978 she joined the Austrian diplomatic service. Her first assignment as a junior diplomat was the Austrian Embassy in Paris; after returning to Vienna she was designated to the department for legal and consular affairs setting up a hotline and ameliorating the service for the public. In 1990 she was nominated cultural counsellor at the Austrian Embassy in Moscow; in 1995 promotion to deputy head of mission followed. Besides Russia the areas of activities also comprised the successor states to the Soviet Union. 1999 she teamed up as deputy chief with the Austrian Delegation to the OSCE in Vienna; special envoy for the Austrian OSCE chairmanship in 2000; from 2002 head of the Austrian Delegation to the OSCE. Her functions also encompassed Council of Europe affairs. In 2008 Margit Wästfelt was nominated Ambassador to Finland. 2013–2015 Alternate Secretary General of the Central European Initiative in Trieste, Italy. At present active as a consultant in the field of international economic relations and knowledge management. Publications on topics concerning the OSCE and Council of Europe.

Office Zurich

The staff conducts the operational work on behalf of the board. The staff is responsible for fundraising, develops the projects of the foundation efficiently and in correspondence to the financial means and is responsible for the annual narrative and financial reports to the Swiss Federal Supervisory Board of Foundations.

Office hours:
Monday 9–17 h
Wednesday 9–17 h

Dagmar Reichert
Delegate of the Board and Executive Director

Dagmar Reichert has a background in Cultural Geography and is a consultant and lecturer at the Zurich University of the Arts.

Sandra Frimmel
Project Manager

Sandra Frimmel is an art historian and research coordinator at the Centre for Arts and Cultural Theory (ZKK) at the University of Zurich

Sandra Suter
Head of Administration

Sandra Suter is a linguist and a musician. She works as a singer, singing teacher and as a lector.

Advisory Board

The advisory board is composed of specialists in various fields of art and art education, humanitarian work, diplomacy and mediation, as well as representatives of civil society.

The advisory board is consulted as needed for the orientation of the foundation in terms of content and the planning of its projects. It contributes to the networking of the foundation and works on an honorary basis.

Mauro Abbühl
Former co-Director, artlink – Cultural Cooperation, Bern

Günther Bächler
Special Representative for the South Caucasus of the OSCE

Daniel Baumann
Director of the Kunsthalle Zürich

Christine Beerli
Vice President of the ICRC, President of the Association Solothurner Filmtage

Franziska Burkhardt
Director of the culture department of the city of Bern

Catherine David
Artistic Director of Documenta 10, Curator, Paris

Maaike Engelen
Child and Adolescent Psychoanalyst, London

Maren Haartje
Activities in Feminist Education, Peace Research and Security Policy. Programme Managment for FriedensFrauen worlwide.

Ursula König
Independent Mediator and Consultant for Conflict Transformation

Sandro Lunin
Artistic Director of the Kaserne Basel

Thomas D. Meier
Dean of the Zurich University of the Arts

Nicole Müller
Writer and Director of Communications

Danielle Nanchen
Section Head, Federal Department of Culture, Switzerland

Meret Schlegel
Dancer and Choreographer, Swiss Dance Award 2015, Zurich

Dieter Senghaas
Professor for Peace Research, University of Bremen

Alice Thomann
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Beirut

Gisela Ullmann
Supervisor and Coach in Organisations, Zug


Silvia Bächli

Born in Switzerland, Silvia Bächli lives and works in Basel and Paris and is Professor at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Karlsruhe, Germany. She has shown her drawings, paintings and photographic works internationally at many exhibitions, most recently in a solo-show at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. Silvia Bächli represented Switzerland at the 53rd Biennale di Venezia and received the Prix Meret Oppenheim from the Swiss Federal Office of Culture. In November 2014 Silvia Bächli was awarded with the Kulturpreis der Stadt Basel.

Albin Brun

Multi-instrumentalist Albin Brun was born in Lucerne in 1959 and is a key figure in a scene that spans jazz and new folk music. Albin Brun is active in many ways: as a member of bands such as the Albin Brun Alpin Ensemble and duos with artists such as Patricia Draeger; a composer of film and theatre scores for Tim Krohn & Co.; and a guest lecturer at Lucerne University. Albin Brun is the winner of the Swiss Music Prize 2017.

Monika Dillier

Born 6.3.1947, lives and works in Basel. Several solo and group exhibitions in Switzerland, Germany or in South Africa. Regular cooperation-projects with other artists, so, for example, in the project ‘Erstes Manifest grosser und angesehener Künstlerinnen’ or ‘The road to nieu Bethesda’.

Patricia Draeger

Patricia Draeger was born and raised in Zug. She completed her musical studies in contemporary music and the flute in Winterthur, Biel, Amsterdam and The Hague. Since 1992 she is accordionist and musical director of several theatre productions. She is a member of a duo with Sergej Simbirev, as well as the ‘Trio Avodah’ (European folkmusic) and the ensemble ‘Paralpin’. Since 2008 she is part of the ‘Albin Brun Alpin Ensemble’.

Iris Ganz

Iris Ganz was born in Uri in 1974 and lives and works in Basel. In her artistic work she realises videos, installations and performances. Since 2011 she teaches art at the FHNW HGK.

Jean-Daniel Girod

born 1977, lives and works in Zurich and deals with voice, percussion and body music. Jean-Daniel Girod focuses his work on the combination of rhythm and voice and leads workshop series on ‘Voice + Body Percussion’ at the Konservatorium Winterthur and in Zurich. Girod participates in musical projects for people with disabilities by the Tobias-Haus in Zurich (‘Tobi’s Welt’), is a member of the music group ‘Mirabilis’ (Markus Maggiori, Sandra Weiss; concerts in authentic medieval style) and does percussion and voice for the world music group by Adrian Egger ‘Zussambalan’. In collaboration with artasfoundation Jean-Daniel Girod leads the workshops of the ‘International Choir’ in Abkhazia (2017–2018) and in the Tavush region of Armenia (2018–2019).

Monika Günther and Ruedi Schill

Monika Günther (born 1944 in Germany) and Ruedi Schill (born 1941 in Switzerland) live and work in Lucerne. They collaborate as performance artists since 1995 on a national and international level. From 1998 until 2013 they also worked as artistic directors of the Festival ‘International Performance Art Giswil / Turbine Giswil’.

Kilian Haselbeck and Meret Schlegel

Kilian Haselbeck (1986) started dancing with HipHop and later Ballet at the Ballet Centre Gerda von Arb (Zurich) followed by a BA in contemporary dance at Codarts Rotterdam Dance Academy, 2008. Since then he has been working as a freelance dancer and choreographer internationally.
Meret Schlegel (1951) is a dancer, dance teacher, dramaturge. She has had a long and distinguished career in dance both on stage and off, performing across Europe and the US, often collaborating with artists from other disciplines. She has worked in many cultural institutions in Zürich including 11 years as director of the Dance House Zurich (Tanzhaus). After leaving Tanzhaus she resumed her career as a dancer and performer. 2012 she started collaborating with Kilian Haselbeck. The joint work ‘Orthopädie or to be’ (2013) they toured nationally and internationally. Cie zeitSprung was founded in 2013.

Silas Heizmann

Silas Heizmann lives and works as a visual artist in Basel, where he graduated from the Art University in 2016. One of the focus points of his work lies in graphic and printing, but he is also active, among other fields, in video-art. Silas received scolarships for residencies in Armenia and was active in several artasfoundation projects in Western Georgia / Abkhazia.

Anina Jendreyko

Anina Jendreyko was born in Germany, she works and lives in the Kurdish regions, in Greece, Germany and Switzerland. She studied in Berlin at the UDK and works as an actress, theatre director and lecturer. In her artistic work she addresses questions of identity, society, transculturality and power relations. In addition to theatre productions, she works with the tools of theatre in national and international conflict- and crisis areas, especially in the Middle East. Currently she has developed a play about and with Yezidi women from and in Shengal/ Northern Iraq about their self-empowerment and the liberation process.

Ayaz Jokhio

Ayaz Jokhio was born in Mehrabpur Sindh, Pakistan, and currently lives and works in Lahore and Karachi. He obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the National College of Arts, Lahore in 2001. He was chosen as the best contemporary poet by the Sindhi Literary Society in 1999. In 2004, Ayaz directed a short film that was later selected for the 4th Kara Film Festival in Karachi. He was also Artist-in-residence at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany, from 2004–2005.

Dani Kouyaté

Dani Kouyaté was born in a griot family in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso in 1961. After a degree in film studies from the University of Ouagadougou, he continued his studies in film at the Sorbonne, Paris. He directed a number of films and theater plays in Europe and Africa, for example the film Keïta!, which received the Best First Film Prize at the Panafrican Film Festival in Ouagadougou and the Junior Prize at the Film Festival in Cannes (1995). After living in Paris for twenty years, he is now living in Uppsala, Sweden where he teaches theater.

Franziska Koch

born in Luzern, works as a visual artist and lecturer. In her artistic work she realises installations, performances and projects. Recent Exhibitions: Temperatures (Artisterium, Center for Contemporary Art, Tbilisi), Postfordismus/Fordismus (with Tim Zulauf, mobile cinema Zürich), Reserven (Kunsthof Zürich), Proiezioni (mit Peter Emch, artria, Locarno), Bühne (Helmhaus Zürich), Office (Fri-Art Fribourg), Shanghai Open End Gallery (Chicago). Since 2003 Franziska Koch works as a lecturer in Visual Arts at the Zürich University of the Arts, where she teaches workshops on sound art, installation art, performance, production aesthetics, or video art and works in collaborative projects with other universities.

Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta

Tellervo Kalleinen (born 1975) is an artist from Helsinki, known for her video films and performance-oriented work. She studied art at the Art Academy of Hamburg and of Braunschweig and received a Master of Fine Arts from the Finish Academy of Fine Arts in 2003. Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen (born 1971) studied at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and finished his degree at the Art Academy of Hamburg in 2001.Since 2003 both of them collaborate. They realised and showed their videos, performances and events - often inviting people's participation - in many different countries, for example at the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), P.S.1 (New York), The Kitchen (New York), Shedhalle (Zürich), Kunsthalle Fridericianum (Kassel), Hamburg Kunsthalle, KUMU (Tallinn), das KIASMA (Helsinki), S.M.A.K. (Gent), Museo de Arte Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires) und Ars Electronica Center (Linz). In 2012 they won the most significant Media Art Award in Finland, the AVEK Award.
Website Tellervo Kalleinen

Arkhip Labakhua

born in 1973, Arkhip Labakhua (pseudonym: Sipa) is a leading Abkhaz artist, living and working in Sukhum/i. He studied fine arts in Tbilisi and Moscow and works with a variety of techniques in the fields of sculpture, design and stage design, as well as in photography. He travels as a puppeteer and troubadour with his own puppet theatre productions. In 2000 he received the Grand Prix of the Gent Festival of Marionette Theaters for his production ‘Red Actor’.

Les Reines Prochaines

The Swiss Band consists of four women, Michéle Fuchs, Fränzi Madörin, Muda Mathis, Sus Zwick, with a background in Visual Arts, Music and Performance Art. Founded in 1987, they remain true to a continuous engagement for friendship, feminism and collective production. Touring Switzerland and Europe with a new concert program every year, thy meet a core audience. So far, the band has produced more than ten CDs.

Beat Lippert

born 1977 in Lausanne, works and lives in Geneva. After his studies at the Alauns Hochschule für Kunst und Gesellschaft in Bonn (Germany) and a four-months internship in the area of archeology, Beat continued his studies at the Haute Ecole d’Art et de Design in Geneva. Since then, Beat had several international exhibitions.
Beat collaborated with artasfoundation in the framework of the Curator’s initiative. After this project, Beat stayed and worked for three months in China, where he exhibited his works in the museum of contemporary art MOCA. Beat works on questions about borders, about the the translation of cultural codes, and asks himself how the task of artists can be reconciled with reality and multidisciplinarity.

Philip Matesic

Philip Matesic (1983) is an American artist, living and working in Zürich, Switzerland. He earned his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2008, where he researched and experimented extensively on social potentials of art. His social art practice includes the weekly organisation and moderation of Theory Tuesdays and Practical Fridays, along with a range of local and international community-based, participatory art projects.

Beatrice Minda

was born in Munich, Germany. She studied art history in Munich and Visual Arts in Münster and Berlin. She has made several individual exhibitions in Europe, and has published several books including ‚Innenwelt: Fotografien aus Rumänien und aus dem Exil (Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2007)’.

Shoghakat Mlke-Galstyan

Shoghakat Mlke-Galstyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia. She is active as actress, dancer and art manager/art organizer. Her passion is the contemporary performing arts. She is the founder and soloist of the MIHR theatre, manager of the Tiezerk Band and lecturer at the Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinematography. She is the author/director of projects in the USA, Germany, France, Cyprus, Georgia, Turkey, Russia, Armenia and other countries. In 2016 she received the honored Golden Medal from the Ministry of Culture of RA. In 2017 she attended successfully the CAS Arts and International Cooperation at the Zurich University of Arts.

neue Dringlichkeit

NEUE DRINGLICHKEIT (nD) is a Zurich-based art and performance collective. Within their work they perform a shift between the borders of ‘arts’, ‘politics’ and ‘life’. In alternating constellations the collective develops among other things workshops, interventions, festivals and theater projects. NEUE DRINGLICHKEIT evolved during a spontaneous art festival against xenophobia in Switzerland in 2010 at the ‘Department for Performance Art and Film’ at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK).
Their works have been shown at Venice Biennale of Architecture 2014; Favoriten Theater Festival, Dortmund 2014; Gessnerallee Zürich et al.

Cat Tuong Nguyen

born in 1969 in Ban Me Thuot, Vietnam, lives and works in Zurich. His photographic works, installations and video-works have been shown in solo- and group exhibitions in Switzerland, Israel, USA, or Germany and received international awards.

Raumlabor Berlin

Raumlabor are a group of architects based in Berlin, Germany. They came together in 1999 in response to the rapid and unrestrained development of the city following the fall of the Berlin wall. Their playful approach critiques this dominant mode of architectural production and tries to influence them. It proposes temporary projects that transform the urban landscape: pneumatic structures, submarines made out of waste materials, and half-serious projects such as building a mountain from the rubble produced through uncovering a buried canal are all part of their repertoire.
Working in between the fields of architecture and public art, Raumlabor, whose name means 'space laboratory', create projects based around events, performance and theatre. Primarily working in public space, they see the task of the architect as highlighting problems rather than solving them. Their projects try to open up a space of communication and negotiation, in which relations can be made and conflicts played out.

Augustin Rebetez

Augustin Rebetez (born 1986, Switzerland) creates poetic worlds out of simple materials. His pictures, drawings, installations or stop-motion movies depict a tragicomical reality. The results plays to the creation of a visually playful, moving universe.
Since 2009, he has participated to numerous exhibitions, mostly in Europe but also in North America, South Korea, Nigeria, Mexico, Lebanon, India and Australia. He was awarded by PhotoFolio Review at the Rencontres d’Arles in France (2010), The Swiss Photo Award (2012), the Kiefer Hablitzel Prize (2012) and the Vevey International Photo Award (2013–2014).

Anne Rochat

Anne Rochat is a Swiss video and performance artist who was born in 1982 in the Vallée de Joux, Switzerland. She studies art Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, in 2010 she received the Swiss Art Award, 2012 the Kiefer Hablitzel Award. Since 2013 she teaches at the Art University of Geneva (Head) in the section Art/Action.

Manel Salas

Manel Salas was born in Barcelona in 1980. He has taught and worked as a dancer internationally (China, Russia, Spain, Holland, France and Switzerland).
After his studies in Physical Education, Manel Salas started his artistic career as a dancer, teacher and hip-hop choreographer in Barcelona. Since then he has danced and taught as a freelancer in over 26 productions in different countries. He worked with Metros of Ramon Oller, the flamenco company Color, with Amy Raymond, an ex-Forsythe dancer and with Cobosmika dance company. As a performing artist, he discovered and studied mime, theater, improvisation, butho and acrobatic. In this context, he worked with the Chinese Paper Tiger theater company, Julyen Hamilton, Angels Margarit, David Zambrano, Editta Braun company, Arno Schuitemaker, Vloeistof, Jens Biederman, Jasmine Morand, Oliver Dahler and Corsing Gaudez.
In 2008 Manel Salas graduated from Codarts, the conservatory of the Rotterdam Dance Academy.

Nino Sekhniashvili

born in Tbilisi in 1979, she studies experimental sculpture with Rosemarie Trockel at the Düsseldorf Art Academy (2000–2002) and graphic reproduction at Tbilisi State Academy of Art (2002–2004). In her conceptually oriented work she uses different media. In 2005 she initiated the music project ‘Dario Radio’ together with Kate Siamashvili, since then she showed her works in numerous exhibitions in Georgia, Moscow and German speaking countries. She received fellowships from Akademie Schloss Solitude and Binz39, Zürich, among others. In 2012 Nino Sekhniashvili initiated the exhibition space Nectar in Tbilisi.

Lidwien van de Ven

Born in the Netherlands, Lidwien van de Ven lives and works in Rotterdam and Berlin. Her photographs, installations, and videos have been shown in major international exhibitions, including the Sidney Biennial 2006, Documenta 12, and most recently in Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid. Lately Lidwien van de Ven was nominated for the 2014 Dolf Henkes Award in Rotterdam.

Hajra Waheed

was born in Calgary, Canada and raised within the gated headquarters of Saudi Aramco, the largest transnational oil corporation in the world. She attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and obtained an MA at McGill University in 2007. She has regularly exhibited her works in shows across North America, in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Her works have been included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York, and the British Museum, London. She currently lives and works in Montreal, Canada.

Franziska Welti

the singer and voice-improviser was born in 1965 and lives and works in Winterthur and Berlin. Franziska Welti teaches voice classes at Konservatorium Winterthur and the choirs leads Singfrauen Winterthur and Singfrauen Berlin. She has been part of various world premieres and has collaborated with well-known ensembles in the field of new and early music; she has a brisk concert activity at home and abroad, among other places also in Georgia. Among other awards, Franziska Welti also received the Kulturpreis by the city of Winterthur (2009). In collaboration with artasfoundation Franziska Welti leads the workshops of the International Choir in Abkhazia (2017–2018) and in the Tavush region of Armenia (2018–2019).

Andrea Wolfensberger

was born in 1961 in Zurich, studied from 1980 until 1984 at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art Visuel in Geneva. In her sculptural and installative works she combines scientific abstraction with narrative poetry. Solo and group exhibitions mainly in Switzerland and Germany. Since 2004, Andrea teaches at the Bern University of the Arts.

...and others.

Partner Organisations

Aamta foundation, Suchum/i

Aamta foundations runs SKLAD – a cultural center in Sukhum/i focused on promoting contemporary art and various cultural activities such as filmscreenings, lectures, workshops etc. It strives to build international connections, involve the community and encourage local artists.
Social Media

Adami – Media Prize for Cultural Diversity in Eastern Europe

The Adami Media-Prize seeks to network journalists, filmmakers and media professionals in Eastern European countries and the Caucasus for the purpose of promoting interest in the media and cultural diversity in these regions.

artlink, Switzerland

The office for cultural cooperation, artlink, is the Swiss centre of competence for arts and culture from Afrika, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. It documents, collaborates with and supports professional artists from these regions who are artistically active in Switzerland and promotes intercultural cooperation.

Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, Brandeis Universität, USA

The Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts is affiliated with the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University. Its emphasis is on the contribution of culture and art to conflict transformation. Under the heading of Impact: Imagine together, it has initiated an international platform for art, culture and conflict transformation.

Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre), Switzerland

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (the HD Centre) is an independent mediation organisation, based in Geneva. It is dedicated to improving the global response to armed conflict.

Center for Security Studies (CSS), Switzerland

The Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich is engaged in the study of Swiss and international security studies. Its activities are structured into the four pillars of research, teaching, think tank, and the International Relations and Security Network (ISN).

Culture and Management Lab, Georgia

The Culture and Management Lab is a Tbilisi (Georgia) based organization which is active in the field of arts and project management, education and consulting.
Social Media

Ettijahat – Independent Culture, Beirut

Ettijahat – Independent Culture is a Syrian cultural organisation founded at the end of 2011. In the process of cultural and social changes, Ettijahat seeks to activate and render the role of independent culture and arts more positive. It does this by supporting artists and undertakers of cultural initiatives, enabling young researchers, working to build consensus and alliances between individuals and cultural institutions, promoting the arts and artists through regional and international platforms, and helping Syrian communities wherever they are to have access to culture and arts.

Danish Refugee Council (DRC)

The DRC is a humanitarian, non-governmental, non-profit organisation. It is providing direct assistance to conflict-affected populations in 30 different countries.

SDC, Switzerland

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation is Switzerland’s international cooperation agency within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. It is responsible for the overall coordination of development activities and cooperation with Eastern Europe, as well as for the humanitarian aid delivered by the Swiss Confederation.

FDFA, Switzerland

Is the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation.

Academy of Art and Design (FHNW)

The Art Academy of the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland is located at the ‘Campus der Künste’ in Basel. It is active in research, and in the education of artists, designers and art educators.

IDP Women's Union of Tskaltubo, Georgia

The IDP Women’s Union of Tskaltubo is a non-governmental, non-profit organization in the Imereti province of Georgia. It was founded by Lali Grigolava, and supports families who have been displaced in the secession war of Abkhazia and live in the town of Tskaltubo now.
Email Lali Grigolava


The Imagining Together Platform for Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation (IMPACT), is a worldwide, values-driven collaboration to design and activate strategies to strengthen the arts, culture and conflict transformation ecosystem. This includes individuals and organisations working on the international stage and in local neighborhoods, creating festivals and crafting policies, documenting practices and developing theories, enlivening communities and building bridges across differences.


The Centre for Peacebuilding (KOFF) is a dialogue, exchange and networking platform for peacebuilding organisations.

Kunsthof Holm, Germany

Kunsthof Holm is a place for artistic exchange between people who are interested in (visual) art and in the connections between art and the challenges of the present: war and peace, the destruction of nature and the environment. Maren Haartje and Günther Baechler (both members of the artasfoundation advisory board) took over the farm in summer 2017.

Landscapes of Hope

Landscapes of Hope is a network initiated by Action for Hope, a Lebanese NGO that, among other things, offers art-education in refugee settlements The network aims to reach beyond the realm of cultural organisations in order to connect civil society organizations across all sectors, and explore more general possibilities for working with art for bringing about effective social change in situations of distress.


The Independent Network for Local and Global Sounds and Media Culture focuses on experimental and urban music and music scenes all over the world. As an international platform it aims to understand and show the many and often contradictory faces of cultural globalization and localization through articles written by musicians, scholars and music journalists from Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and the US.

Ochamchyra Youth House, Ochamchyra

The Ochamchyra Youth House is a NGO, which organises further education and cultural activities for children and youth in the city of Ochamchyra on the Black Sea cost.
Email Selma Zantarya

Pro Helvetia

This foundation is mandated by the Swiss Confederation to promote artistic creation, foster cultural outreach and facilitate cultural exchange at home and with other countries.

Society Biliki

Society Biliki is a non-governmental, non-profit organization. It was founded in May 1997, in Gori, a town in Shida Kartli province of Georgia and concentrates on working with children and youth from low-income families or with a refugee background.

State Pedagogical University Yerevan (ASPU), Armenia

This state-supported university and institute of higher education located in Yerevan is specialized in pedagogy and the training of teaching personnel.


The Swiss Peace Foundation is a practice-oriented peace research institute located in Bern. It analyzes the causes of violent conflicts in order to develop strategies for their peaceful transformation and supports Swiss and international actors in their peacebuilding activities.

Zurich University of the Arts

The Zurich University of the Arts (Zurich, Switzerland) is one of Europe’s largest universities of the arts. It offers a unique range of programmes from further education opportunities to undergraduate, postgraduate and research degrees in design, film, art, media, music, dance, theatre and art education.

Zentrum für Kunst und Friedensförderung (ZKF)

The Center for Art and Peacebuilding (ZKF) was founded 2020 out of a joint initiative of the Swiss foundation artasfoundation and the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Thus, a long lasting partnership since 2012, which has resulted in over 20 projects, is given a new institutional framework with a long-term orientation.

Mission Statement of the ZKF

Artistic initiatives for peaceful conflict resolution, for personal encounters and mediation in situations of violence or artistic approaches to express social conflict, to come to terms with the past, and rebuild society in post-conflict regions. At present, they are all attracting increased attention in International Cooperation as well as in the arts themselves.

As a common interface of Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and the Swiss Artas Foundation, the Centre for Art and Peacebuilding (ZKF) takes account of these developments.

The ZKF is tasked with researching the potential of artistic contributions to transform violent conflicts, testing it on a practical level in projects and discussing it with experts and the general public. It sees itself as an area for international collaboration that fosters respectful cultural exchange on a level playing field.

The Centre for Art and Peacebuilding promotes the involvement of students, lecturers and researchers of ZHdK in its work and interacts closely with the teaching and research at the university. Based on this and on the project work of Artas Foundation, the ZKF can also partner with programmes for art and peacebuilding of national and international organizations (e.g. the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)...) and related initiatives of other universities.

The four working fields of the ZKF

1. Practical work in conflict regions: lecturers and students of the ZHdK carry out art projects in regions of conflict together with experienced staff from artasfoundation. Universities or artists of these regions are partners in these projects, a reciprocity in terms of learning is part of the programme. The result will not only be new impulses for social reconstruction in these regions but also practical experience in fair international cooperation across all economic and cultural differences: tools for young people for coping with the current global challenges.

2. Higher education: Some of the above-mentioned art projects are part of the curriculum of the BA and MA Studies of the ZHdK. On top of that the ZKF is running a certificate of advanced studies course in the further education programme of the ZHdK.

3. Research: As much as artistic contributions are gaining their recognition in practical peacebuilding, as little systematic research has been carried out in this field. Neither have examples for international best-practice been identified. The academic framework is allowing for an accompaniment of particular projects by research as well as for comparative long-term studies.

4. Cooperation and network: As a Swiss institution the ZKF is not only working with local institutions in the fields of art and peacebuilding, but also with the Geneva based organisations of the UN. Furthermore it builds a West European Hub for the worldwide network of practitioners and humanitarian organisations, working with art in conflict regions.

Team and contact

Dagmar Reichert (Executive director artasfoundation)
Sandra Frimmel (Project manager artasfoundation)
Bettina Ganz (Head International Office ZHdK)

Finances and Controls

artasfoundation is an operating foundation that is financed by grants and private contributions and that initiates its own projects. It is not an awarding foundation and does not process unsollicited applications for support from other parties.

artasfoundation makes its project partners and sponsorship transparent. It ensures that its donors give their support free of political obligations and without imposing conditions on the artistic work.

Financial or operative support
Our thanks to the following persons and institutions. Each has made valuable contributions to our projects.


Andreas and Brigitte Albicker, Evelyne Albin, Renate Amuat, Therese Augsburger and Jürg Spörri, Günther Bächler, Daniel Baumann, Barbara Berger Schindler, Martina Bernasconi, Charlotte Bhattarai, Regula Bibus-Waser, Eva Bischofberger, Rezio Blass, Marianne Bleuler-Herzog, Peter Bleuler, Astrid Bodisch, Giovanni Borrelli, Daniela Brunner, Heidi Burkhardt-Hollinger, Jean-Marie Clarke, Catherine David, Jaques Diday-Baumann, Ursina Dorer, Renato Duckeck, Mireille Eberhard, Penelope Eberhart Freeman, Fabio Eiselin Wenger, Johanna Ensinger, Rita Frey Schuppisser, Yvonne Fahrni, Silvia Flachsmann, Katharina Flieger, Doris Füllemann, Christian Fürholz, Patrick Gamba, Bettina Ganz Gorgi, Gianni Garzoli, Simon Gaus, Stefan Gerster, Hans Rudolf Glatz, Ursina B. Gloor Weisskopf, Peter Goop, Mariann Grawe, Dr. Konrad Grimm-Kistler, Thomas Gutmann, Jürg and Mirjam Häubi-Sieber, Corinne Haffter Schaffner, Regula Hatt-Suter, Angela Hausheer, Trix and Robert Heberlein, Thomas Heimann, Claus Hipp, Esther Barbara Honegger, Hermann Huber-Bossert, Helene Esther Huldi, Ioannis and Dorothea Iglezakis, Ilya and Marina Karlin, Clare Kenny, Franziska Koch, Silvia Koenig Koellreutter, Heinrich König, Maia and Stefan Kraft, Heidi Kramer, Silvia Kraus-Billeter, Simone Kriesemer, Patrick Kull, Corina Lang, Regula Langemann, Maria Larsson, Andreas Lauber, Sigrid Launois-Meyer, Sandro Lunin, Stefanie and Peter Lüthy, Françoise Marcuard, Cornelia Markovic-Leu, Philip Matesic, Sandra Mazzoni, Oskar Meyer, Evelyne Monney, Cyrus Mosayebi, Regula Muchenberger, Nicole Müller, Martin Naegelin, Danielle Nanchen, Geneviève Nanchen-Lucette, Beatrice Naville, Nadine Naville, Ursula Peters, Linda Pfenninger, Theresia Elisabeth Pfluger, Elodie Pong, Dorothea von Rechenberg, Nanni Reinhart Schinz, Isabel Roman-Karajan, Hans Roth-Rohner, Eliane Rutishauser, Liliane Ryser, Andrea Saemann, Karin Saemann, Lilian Saemann, Martina Schäfer Läser, Bigna Schaffner, Marina Schindler, Peter Schindler, Meret Schlegel, Elisabeth Schmid Kläui, Barbara Schneider, Doris Beate Lux Schnitter, Marcel Schwald, Markus Schwander, Beat Siegrist, Peter Sprenger, Rudolf Stocker, Robert Strebel, Angela Stupp, Marianne Theis, Alice Thomann, Christine Thomann-Hatt, Ruth Tippe, Tanuja Thurairajah, Oleg Tkatch, Gisela Ullmann-Jungfer, Philip and Verena Urner-Diggelmann, Marianne Vogler, Barbara von Reibnitz, Thomas and Elisabeth von Salis, Brigit Wehrli Schindler, Franziska Welti, Andrea Wolfensberger, Bettina Z’Rotz, Brigitta Züst, Mara Züst, Susanna Züst

Update: January 2021


Abteilung Menschliche Sicherheit (AMS) des Eidgenössischen Departements für auswärtige Angelegenheiten (EDA)
Bayer (Schweiz) AG
Caran d’Ache AG
Direktion für Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit (DEZA)
Drosos Stiftung
Fair Future Foundation
Fondation Olympique pour la culture et le Patrimoine
Fondation Smartpeace
Georgischer Förderverein
Gerda Techow Gemeinnützige Stiftung
Gruppenpraxis Paradies
Guido Feger Stiftung
H.E.M. Stiftung
Heinrich Böll Stiftung
Isabell und Dr. Friedrich Vogel-Stiftung
Kulturabteilung der Stadt Zürich
Max Kohler Stiftung
MP Amministrazioni Immobiliari
Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa (OSZE), Task Force
Plakatgesellschaft Basel
Pro Concepta Zug AG
Reformierte Kirchgemeinde Erlenbach
Schweizer Kulturstiftung Pro Helvetia
Schweizerische Interpreten Stiftung (SIS)
Stanley Thomas Johnson Stiftung
Stiftung Corymbo
Stiftung Dr. Jacques Edwin Brandenberger
Stiftung Mercator Schweiz
Thomas Abegg Stiftung für Geist und Kultur
Valüna Stiftung
Verein Stroh zu Gold
Von Duhn Stiftung
Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)

Update: January 2021

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artasfoundation is governed by the Swiss Federal Supervisory Board of Foundations.

Financial audit
Würth Treuhand AG, Norastrasse 7, CH-8040 Zürich

Standards for financial reporting
The administration of finances meets the criteria of the Swiss GAAP RPC/FER21.

Charitable status
artasfoundation is recognised by the tax administration of the canton Zürich as a charitable trust.