Jour Fixe – Art in Conflict

13. December, 17.15 – 18.45 CET
artasfoundation, Lindenbachstrasse 21, 8006 Zürich & Zoom

Reading group – How to Explore New Narratives Through Artistic Projects?
Drawing Against Silence (2018)
Author / guest: Tim Zulauf, freelance author and theater director

For the theatre project Converting Eviction – a collaboration between Sello Pesa/Ntsoana (Johannesburg) and Tim Zulauf/KMUProduktionen (Zurich) – the participants looked at global and Swiss involvement in the South African apartheid era. How can the consequences of the apartheid and the current struggles for reparations, debt relief and displacement be explored from an artistic point of view? And what could be a format, that does not simply perpetuate existing disparities? In his text Drawing Against Silence (2018) Tim Zulauf follows different South African activists and examines how cultural and artistic work could contribute to the fight against segregated spaces and racial-based injustice.

Tim Zulauf is an author and theatre director, based in Zurich. With KMUProduktionen, a loose network of theatre and art professionals, he has been developing stage projects and installations since 2002. For the discussion with Tim Zulauf on 13. December, please prepare by reading the above mentioned text in advance.

The event will be held in English. To sign up for the Zoom link, please e-mail us by 12. December.

This event is part of a monthly series that is organised by the CAP, a joint initiative of artasfoundation and the ZHdK. If you wish to be regularly informed about the agenda each month, please sign up for our Jour Fixe invitation list here. The programme for the spring semester will follow in early 2024.

Further dates:

17. January, 17.15 h
Reading group – How can we behave mindfully in a society characterised by conflict?

Working With Trauma (2021). Author / guest: Karin Griese, Head of Trauma Work Department, medica mondiale
, Lindenbachstrasse 21, 8006 Zürich & Zoom

21. February 2024, 17.15 h
Reading group – What language does artistic work speak?

Interrupting the Cognitive Empire: Keynote Drama as Cultural Justice (Alison Phipps and Tawona Sitholé, 2022). Authors / guests: Alison Phipps, Professor of Languages ​​and Intercultural Studies, UNESCO Chair for Integration of Refugees through Languages ​​and Art, and Tawona Sitholé, Artist in Residence, University of Glasgow
, Lindenbachstrasse 21, 8006 Zürich & Zoom

Call for Donations for Armenia!

As a consequence of the Azerbaijani military offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, almost 100,000 people had to leave their homes in the past few days. artasfoundation does not provide emergency aid. But in exchange with artists in Armenia, we are creating a space in which children and young displaced people will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of artistic and social activities through which they can regain control over their own lives, imagine their future and communicate their emotions. Support us and donate to this venture now!


Art Education – Inter-Culturally
In 2022 we started a three-year exchange project for future art teachers. Each year, three Swiss universities and one partner university in the South Caucasus are sending students and lecturers to participate in the project. In spring 2022, the exchange took place between Armenia and Switzerland and in September 2022 and January 2023 between Georgia and Switzerland. At the moment we are preparing the third part of the project, which will take us to Armenia again in October 2023.
How is art taught in public schools in the South Caucasus? What are the educational goals of the curriculum there? And what do these look like in different Swiss cantons? How do the – sometimes implicit – values and orientations of the respective societies flow into school teaching? What is the understanding of art in the different countries’ approaches to teaching? The participants are able to explore such questions in joint practical work.

CAS Further Education course Arts and International Cooperation
CAS Arts and International Cooperation brings together professionals in arts practice, peace building activists, project managers from international organisations. Through theoretical concepts and practical exercises you will engage in joint discussions and exchange with experienced lecturers. A central element of the course is a study trip to actual art projects in fragile contexts.

Teachers’ Training
Schools in the border villages of Armenia affected by the war are facing severe teacher shortages. Against this background, an exchange of ideas between artasfoundation and the Armenian State Pedagogical University – the only institution in Armenia responsible institution responsible for teacher training in the country – has resulted in the offer of a futher education training for practicing art teachers from peripheral regions of Armenia. It is the first of its kind in the country. In the summer and fall of 2022, the course was held for the first time with 37 art teachers from the border regions. Due to the great demand, the project is being continued this year. The first workshop of this second edition took place in August 2023, the second follows at the beginning of November.


From the current circular

As a part of our daily life in artasfoundation, we are continuously learning how to deal with the uncertainties in today’s world. This summer, we have run a number of different projects, including a new edition of the Teachers’ Training course in Armenia, the International Summer School for Socially Engaged Arts, and Impulse Days in Music Therapy. At the same time we were preparing for the third workshop of the project Art Education – inter-culturally in Armenia. However, at the time of writing this text, we have decided to postpone this workshop to the start of 2024. This decision has been made due to the escalation of the war around Nagorno-Karabakh and its impact on the whole of Armenia. The gravity of the events required us to slow down and listen attentively to the emotional capacities of our partners in the region. It is not the first and will not be the last time that war and conflicts affect our activities, but this is precisely why we believe that social transformation is site-specific and only possible when actions are contextualised and international organisations act and react in alignment with the ever-changing context, especially in regions affected by conflict.

In the work of artasfoundation we celebrate the strength that art introduces into in our communities, even into those experiencing severe losses. To this aim, we are in constant dialogue with collaborating artists and cultural workers. We sensitively design our social transformative art projects, experimenting with various art practices and forms as a vehicle towards a more equitable future where communities creatively lead their own transformation.

As we understand the challenges in the political, cultural and social contexts in which we operate, we also look at, and continually reflect on, our own internal structures, adapting according to the changes and learning we experience. After months of researching, building and rebuilding, experimenting and weaving together affinities, we are now able to open our kitchen to friends and colleagues to inform you that artasfoundation is transforming to become a geographically decentralised structure involving seven members from art, management and research backgrounds, who share the fundamental belief that the only way for all of us to live together is through the peaceful, long-term transformation of our societies.

1artasfoundation would like to underline that its use of names and titles particularly in regards to conflict regions should not be understood as implying any form of recognition or non-recognition by the foundation or as having any other political connotation whatsoever.