Art Education – Inter-Culturally
This year 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 take part in the exchange. In the spring of 2022, the exchange took place between Armenia and Switzerland and at the moment we are preparing the second part of the project in Georgia for September 2022 and January 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.
The dance project Wishing Wishes invites young people from Armenia and Abkhazia1 to explore their own wishes and visions, and encourages them to expand their familiar horizons of action and to position themselves independently in relation to the social norms of their home environment. New spaces for play are created in the encounter of traditional folk and national dances of the South Caucasus, which are oriented towards communality, with Western-influenced contemporary dance, with its focus more on improvisation and the individual. Swiss dancers and choreographers work in close collaboration with colleagues from the South Caucasus.
Jour Fixe – 21 September 2022, 17h15 CET
Art classes in the Armenian periphery
At the end of August, we held the first part of a training course in Armenia for art teachers from peripheral regions of Armenia. 38 women and men between the ages of 24 and 54 took part. While we were preparing the second part of the training course for October, we just received reports of the fierce resumption of the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In the next Jour Fixe, we would like to report on the last workshop: Did each other’s goals match? Were there moments of tension, moments of success? We would like to present and discuss our thoughts in favour of and against holding the second part of the further education course in October during this uncertain situation. What does it mean for ‘art in conflict regions’ when the conflict becomes very concrete?
artasfoundation invites you to the Jour Fixe on the third Wednesday of every month to discuss ongoing projects as well as issues related to the work of the foundation or political developments in the partner countries. It's a hybrid event, taking place both on site at Lindenbachstrasse 21 in Zurich and in virtual space. The discussion is held in German or English, depending on the participants.
If you wish to be informed about the agenda each month, please sign up on our Jour Fixe invitation list here.
From the current circular
What We Can Do
Many regions of the world are in turmoil. Where artasfoundation is active, political tensions rise, war rages, artists, colleagues and friends live under threat. What is it that we can do? Here is the beginning of the list we made for ourselves:
- (Continue to) heat the artasfoundation office with wood instead of fossil fuels
- Resist thinking in terms of broad, blanket categories
- Not forget other regions in crisis (Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Yemen, among, unfortunately, many more) despite the relentless flood of news from Eastern Europe
- Neither forget the people from those very regions who also seek protection in our countries
- Take the long view: the “peace industry” changes its focus quickly. After it has moved on to the next place of acute need, much will remain to be done, especially with art
- Find good concert opportunities for the Ukrainian Youth Jazz Band that we have been supporting since their arrival in Bern last March
- Assist endangered artists holding Russian passports in applying for Schengen visas
- Read as much poetry as news
- Arrange private accommodation and workspaces for refugee artists
- Continue our planned projects in the Caucasus, where it is possible
- Develop new projects drawing on art as a means for mediation in divided societies
- Keep in mind how well we are living in Switzerland and reflect on how we can share more
Dear friends of artasfoundation, in response to our call after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, we received financial donations and more than 40 offers of accommodation for people seeking protection. Although we were able to arrange some, the need is not over. As we try to respond to both short- and long-term needs, we do our best to pass on your contributions as wisely as possible. We thank you for your engagement and solidarity!
Archive of circulars
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.