Cultural Mediation in Schools
Initiated by artlink
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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."