News

Art at Risk

The documentation of the public presentations and discussions of the conference Art at Risk are now online! Get an impression of the topics and the variety of views and positions.

  • The Human Right to Free Artistic Expression with Karima Bennoune and Tania Bruguera
  • Fundamentalism and Artistic Freedom with Srirak Plipat (Freemuse) and Firas Abou Fakher (Mashrou’ Leila)
  • The Role of Art in Challenging Contexts with Nicola Dahrendorf, Christian Frutiger, Swetlana Heger-Davis, Dagmar Reichert and George Steinmann
  • The International Cooperation Complaints Choir, participants of the conference with Tellervo Kalleinen

Jour Fixe

The next Jour Fixe will be taking place on Wednesday, 17th June, 20h, Lindenbachstr. 21, 8006 Zürich.

Programme

artasfoundation invites you to its regular meeting Jour Fixe every 3rd Wednesday of the month in order to discuss ongoing projects as well as answer questions raised by the work or relevant political developments.

No registration necessary! If you wish to be informed each month about the agenda, please sign up on our e-mail distribution list here.

 

Circular

From the current circular

Dear friends of artasfoundation,

Yes, we are working, even though the borders are currently closed. This does not stand in the way of our connection and solidarity! After all, the corona crisis has once again confirmed how closely the entire world community is interwoven and how much we depend on each other. What the singer Mani Matter once sang in Swiss German has now become a bodily experience: ‘Dene wos guet geit, giengs besser, giengs dene besser, wos weniger guet geit.’ (Those who are well would be better off if those who are less well were better off.)

Although the spread of coronavirus in the countries where we are mostly active has so far been somewhat limited – Armenia and Georgia, including Abkhazia*, which is not controlled by Georgia, have reacted quickly and imposed rather strict lockdowns – the fragile economy of these regions, their emerging tourist sector and the fight against widespread poverty will certainly be weakened by the pandemic. Whilst countries as Switzerland have insurance policies for unemployment or state supported short-time work, our friends and project partners in the South Caucasus report about furloughs, widespread layoffs and a return to a subsistence economy.

Would art initiatives be of any use under these circumstances? Can art play a role where there is a shortage of material things? Those who participate in artasfoundation’s projects experience that people in difficult economic circumstances seek exchange in the dimensions of spirit and soul and don’t want to be addressed just as beings with physical needs. In these dimensions, people can meet each other respectfully and find hope. Practicing art is one way of doing this – with art having the further quality of not providing ultimate answers to given problems. Rather, it unfolds the complexity of problems and creates free space to try out possible solutions.

We do not believe that art is a universal remedy. But we do believe that creative activity can dissolve the image of enemy, open up new horizons and encourage people to create new possibilities. Thus, our art projects will hardly provide jobs for young people, but they may encourage them to create some of their own. We don’t understand our work with art as help. But what we do is encourage self-help, which is the best preparation for a future that today is less foreseeable than ever.

Inherent in the current global crisis we may find a chance for learning to shape the future together and across borders. In this spirit we hope for your continued interest in the work of artasfoundation and ask for your support! Here you can find out what we have been doing since our last circular in November.

With cordial greetings,
the artasfoundation team