The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) have jointly organised «Crossroads – international perspectives on culture art and society», an event to be held in Basel and Geneva from 8 to 10 February.

The SDC supports cultural scenes in its partner countries, while Pro Helvetia promotes Swiss arts and culture throughout the world. Its three oldest liaison offices abroad – in Cairo, Johannesburg and New Delhi – each celebrate a round anniversary this year.
In what ways can artists be active on the international stage and work together? What contribution does this make to social developments? What role do art and culture play in a society’s change processes? A special focus of this three-day event will be on the interface between cultural and development policy. Participants and audiences will discuss which expectations, strategies and instruments are best aligned to politically and economically- fraught contexts. Crossroads is more than a get-together for culture specialists.
The three-day event is just as much a multifaceted cultural happening, with a programme compiled by Sandro Lunin, the former artistic director of the Zürcher Theaterspektakel festival. The common thread linking the productions to be shown is the artists’ exploration of foreign cultural environments and their engagement in international cultural exchange.

«Crossroads» offers the opportunity to discover the work of several Swiss performing artists:

Boris Nikitin&Zulaikha Chaudhari_Also the real thing_©Boris Nikitin
Boris Nikitin&Zulaikha Chaudhari_Also the real thing_©Boris Nikitin

Mats Staub, «Artist (working title)», 8 – 10 February, Kaserne Basel
The life stories of 25 artists recorded in Egypt, India and South Africa in residencies organised by Pro Helvetia. How do these artists choose and live their lives as artists?

Boris Nikitin, Zuleikha Chaudhari and Gaurangi Dang, «Also the real thing», 8 February, Kaserne / junges theater basel
The actress Gaurangi Dang from New Delhi talks about her life and plays a part of her theatre repertoire. Is it an audition, a performance or a re-enactment? The artists present an excerpt of the project they produced with six performers in India about real and acted feelings.

Ntando Cele, «Black Off», 8 February, Kaserne Basel
This South African artist has been living in Switzerland for several years. She reverses the practice of «blackfacing» by embodying her white alter ego Bianca White. A strong performance which questions prejudices and racism while confronting the audience with their own perceptions.

Yan Duyvendak & Omar Ghayatt, «Still in Paradise», 10 February, Kaserne Basel
Are the East and the West reconcilable? Two artists, one Swiss with Dutch background and the other Egyptian, challenge each other’s point of view. However, this leads to questions rather than answers. It is up to each individual to put their ideas to the test in a spirit of openness.

Antje Schupp, Kieron Jina, Mbali Mdluli and Annalyzer, «Pink Mon€y», 8 February, Festival Antigel Geneva and 10 February, Kaserne / junges theater basel
«Pink Mon€y» is an international partnership including performance, celebration and protest, which explores the search for power in the LGBTI+ community.