artasfoundation just won an award!

We were just awarded the Canton of Zurich's Price for our contribution to the widening of the cultural participation in conflict regions. The price honours cultural workers and institutions that are committed to the broadening of access to cultural life. We are humbled that our work was recognised in such a way. The price will help us navigate the difficulties imposed by the pandemic. More...

Video about our work

CAS Arts and International Cooperation

How can art contribute to social change in crisis regions? What expertise do organizers and artists need for artistic collaborations in fragile contexts? The postgraduate course (CAS) Arts and International Cooperation at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), which is led by artasfoundation, is taught by experienced international practitioners from the fields of art and project management and culture science. The focus of the curriculum is on contemporary art, international cooperation and peacebuilding. It is aimed at those who are active in international cooperation as well as artists and curators.

Wishing Wishes

The dance project Wishing Wishes invites young people from Armenia and Abkhazia 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.

Swiss Initiative

How can diplomatic conflict mediation be supported by art? artasfoundation was able to persuade Swiss diplomats to join together in the venture. After his appointment as Ambassador in London, Alexandre Fasel continued the collaboration in several talks with artists and peacebuilding experts. For concentrated work on this questionand a one-year research grant in 2019 was announced. artasfoundation was able to support the process and is now active in continuing the collaboration since 2021 in a series of online seminars and a book publication.

Jour Fixe on Wednesday 16 February 2022, 17h15 CET

The artasfoundation team 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

We are writing from the road, on the way to Abkhazia¹ for an art project, just waiting in front of the checkpoint at the de facto border or ‘administrative border’ as it is called on the other side. Our papers are prepared, but will we be allowed to cross?

We can feel how ‘border’ is just another name for ‘power’. With the corona pandemic, the power holders were given new tasks, which in turn offer them new arguments. This is true here in Ingur/I just as in the Schengen area or Switzerland. Our efforts to connect people across borders, to enable study trips and open access for cultural exchange have become more difficult. For example, despite the availability of vaccines, only 15 or 20 percent of people in Armenia or Georgia have been immunised so far. Where the population does not trust state institutions, where the wildest rumours circulate in social media about corona vaccines and the measures taken by the authorities come to nothing, the state’s power of closing borders confirms the failure of the state.

September was made of ups and downs for us. On the one hand, we had to postpone two projects because of the pandemic. We had prepared them in detail but have now to start all over again! On the other hand, we were selected for the Recognition Price for Cultural Participation by the Canton of Zurich! The news landed just at the right time and gave us new energy. The price honours cultural workers ‘who enable people to have access to cultural life’. For us, ‘access’ means reciprocity, a mutual exchange between ways of life, between privileged ones and those that are perhaps more precarious. In other words, it is a participation that crosses cultural or political boundaries.

After a few hours, the crossing into Abkhazia was finally possible. On the road we still are, hopefully with your support!

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.