For Schools

Are you part of an educational institution? Are you looking for an engagement with artistic ways of thinking and acting in different cultural contexts? Are you an immigrated artist interested in cultural mediation work with children and young people?

Cultural Mediation in Schools
Initiated by artlink
since 1990

Changing Perspectives

artlink is a pioneer in championing cultural mediation in Swiss schools. Through many years of engagement artlink has built a large transcultural network between artists with migration experience and primary, secondary and vocational schools in Switzerland. artlink pursues two main goals with its Cultural Mediation in Schools programme called For Schools. On the one hand, we support and promote artists with migration experience in the Swiss cultural and mediation landscape.

On the other hand, artlink fosters exchange between students and artists with migration experience. Our programme creates a space for students to reflect on their personal transcultural experiences, placing them in a broader context. Importantly, our cultural mediation activities in Swiss schools deepen an engagement with artistic expressions from other cultural contexts.

Cultural mediation activities

The cultural mediation activities offered by artlink are tailored to changing conditions and the needs of educational institutions. Formats, content and artistic techniques are constantly revised and developed. artlink currently offers three different cultural mediation formats. We are happy to assist you with questions you might have:


  • Workshops in different disciplines with artists with migration experience
  • School concerts with bands and ensembles composed of musicians with migration experience
  • Customised interdisciplinary and thematically focused cultural mediation projects for individual classes or schools

Workshops

Would you like to offer your students a workshop in music, dance, theatre or visual arts? artlink offers a number of tried and tested workshops, for example the Capoeira workshop with Moreno Rebeiro or the singing workshop with the Angolan-Swiss voice instructor Flora Luvualu. Find an overview of our current workshops in the download area.

School concerts

artlink organises a concert for your school by musicians with migration experience from Latin America, Africa, Asia, Middle East and Eastern Europe. In a joint conversation we find out, which band or artist is most suitable for your institution. Cultural regions that are strongly represented in your school or preferences for certain artistic styles may guide the selection. Interaction between pupils and musicians and student participation are integral parts of school concerts.

An example is the school concert by Son Alard, a Cuban Son band performing one of the most popular forms of modern Cuban music. As part of their concerts the band members explain to the pupils the characteristics of this musical style including instruments, lyrics and rhythms and contextualise it historically. The band involves the children in its performance, encouraging them to sing along and inviting pupils on stage to play rhythm instruments. Yang Jing's school concert, on the other hand, is aimed at high school students. The musician introduces classical Chinese music, explains its specificities, plays from her repertoire, explains the pipa, guzheng and guqin and lets students try out these traditional instruments.

Interested in a school concert? Reach out to us and we will gladly put together a programme that suits your needs.

Customised projects

Would you like to carry out an artistic project together with your primary or secondary school, one class or several classes? Are you looking for a project for a youth group? Would you like to work on a specific theme, for example environmental protection, racism, diversity, visions of the future or others? Or do you want to introduce your pupils to a specific artistic style? Are you planning a programme for one day, an entire project week, or are you looking for an intensive programme that extends over a longer period of time? Share your ideas with us!

artlink will assess your needs and propose a customised proposal in conversation with you and the artists. artlink will organise and accompany your project from beginning to its completion. Get inspired by projects that have already been carried out and by some quotes from those involved!

Quotations

The project Nulle part ailleurs (2014/2015) by Congolese artist Blanchi Lusilao was a 4-month theatre project with 12 primary school students. The project was based on the active participation of the children who were challenged to express themselves creatively and to strengthen their self-confidence. The mother of one child said: "I would never have thought that my daughter could perform so confidently on stage.”

In the project gleich=gleich? (2020/21), which took place over a period of four months, 80 primary school pupils together with a performer, a theatre pedagogue, a writer, a musician and a visual artist, as well as experts and teachers, dealt intensively with racism and diversity. One of the teachers involved said: "My students and I have benefited from all the workshops; they were all very well prepared and facilitated. A highlight was the interview with Red (a guest from Ghana). The exchange with the class (from a partner school) in Zurich was great.”

A journalist wrote about Nach Hause fliehen. Tränen, Flüsse, Meer (2018), a radio project dealing with displacement and migration: "A project that impresses immensely with its intensity and emotional honesty. At the end, the names of the 40 pupils are called out individually, and the pupils rise one by one from the audience."

Project Archive

Diversität (2021)

Diversity

During a project week Brazilian architect and artist Mariana Vieira Grünig and Colombian artist Viviana Gonzalez Mendez each worked with 80 third and fourth grade pupils attending Opfikon primary school in Zurich. In Mariana's project Walk a Mile in Someone Else's Shoes, hand-made shoes stood as a metaphor for personal history and migration. In Viviana's project the children created imaginative chimeras. The project ended with an exhibition for the entire school.

Gleich = Gleich? (2020/21)

Equal = Same

This project on racism involved four classes attending sixth grade at the primary school Opfikon in Zurich. During two five month periods the performer Diana Rojas teamed up with a sound designer, a musician, a writer, a stage designer and a theatre pedagogue to work with 80 children on racism and diversity. The project concluded with an exhibition, performances and a live radio programme hosted by the children. Listen to the programme.

Nach Hause fliehen. Tränen, Flüsse, Meer (2018)

Fleeing Home. Tears, Rivers, Sea

Performer Diana Rojas' project on displacement and migration shows the difficulties faced by migrants settling in Switzerland. Having a so-called "migration background" can lead to exclusion. This four month interdisciplinary art project involved one school class from the primary and secondary schools in Weinfelden in the canton of Thurgau. A radio event was presented at the Thurgau Art Museum in the Kartause Ittigen. Listen to the radio programme.

Ich dachte, wir sind alle Menschen (2017)

I Thought We Were All Human Beings

Over a period of three months, 30 students from the integration programme of the Cantonal School for Vocational Education in Aarau and an interdisciplinary team of artists led by the Colombian performer Diana Rojas dealt with students' future prospects – their dreams, possibilities and obstacles. The result was an acoustic "reality check" between non-fiction and fiction, a radio programme and an audio guide for the Aarau City Museum. Project participants were between 16 and 30 years old and came from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Iran, Macedonia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Albania, Kosovo and several Latin American countries. Listen to the radio programme.

Schriftstellerin in Schulresidenz (2014/15)

Writer in School Residency

Croatian author Dragica Rajcic was a writer in a residence located at a school in two cities in Switzerland, Biel (2014) and Berne (2015). During her residencies she worked with hundreds of primary school students. In collaboration with the pupils she created plays, novels, poetry, thrillers, newspapers, fairy tales and other texts. For once, linguistic correctness was secondary as creativity and inventiveness were privileged.

La Diversité (2013)

Diversity

During three months 330 students and 52 teachers from the Syndicat Scolaire in Cormoret, Courtelary and Villeret in the canton of Bern created, filmed, photographed, danced, played, glued, printed, wrote, cut, drew and painted together with an intercultural team of professional musicians, dancers, visual artists, an illustrator, a writer and a video artist. Watch their result on video.

back to top