Focus on an international project at the ZHdK - Learning from Inequality

Organising international mobility in cooperation with arts institutions from politically fragile countries is demanding, but possible. This was demonstrated by an international cooperation project implemented with funds from Movetia in collaboration with training institutions in Abkhazia and Cuba.

This international cooperation project was supported under the International Programme and aimed to establish an exchange with educational institutions in regions/countries such as Abkhazia or Cuba, with which cooperation is still rare. The main aim was to gain intercultural experience and develop new ideas for the creation of study provision, and to disseminate these within the Swiss education sector. As the implementation took place in the midst of the Covid pandemic, all participants faced some unexpected challenges, which they overcame successfully.

Project overview

Title: Learning from Inequality: The Arts of International Cooperation
Period: 2019 – 2023
Institutions: Zürcher Hochschule der Künste ZHdK - Switzerland // Abkhaz State Universty – Georgia // Istituto Superior de Arte – Cuba   
Projet Responsable: Bettina Ganz, ZHdK

Activities: The project enabled:
-    The discovery of other perspectives and realities through mutual exchange with students and teachers from partner institutions.
-    The ability to adapt through meetings and exchanges with international partner institutions from so-called fragile country regions (unstable economic and/or political situation), which have been particularly affected by Covid. The resulting flexibility and availability to work with great uncertainty without the usual infrastructure, such as Internet access. 
-    The experience gained is being incorporated into the implementation of new study and teaching modules, such as the CAS "Arts and International Cooperation" now being implemented at the ZHDK and the research project "Contemporary Art, Popular Culture and Peacebuilding".
-    Current global developments, with countless regions in conflict, growing flight movements, the fight against poverty and discrimination and climate change, call for forms of cooperation that go beyond solidarity and are based on mutual respect.

Find out more about the project

Interview with Bettina Ganz

Bettina Ganz, head of the project at the ZHdK, talks about the cooperation and the lessons learned from the experience.

Video Lida Doumouliaka

Lida Doumouliaka, choreographer, dancer and musician, went to Cuba to study at the Istituto Superior de Arte in Havana as part of this project. She talks about her experience, the challenges she faced, the impact on her professional career and, above all, what she was able to take with her back to Zurich.

Context – Cooperations coordinated by Swiss institutions

Movetia offers the opportunity to implement collaborative projects between Switzerland and the rest of the world as part of Cooperations coordinated by Swiss institutions. Swiss educational institutions (all levels of education) can apply to Movetia for funding once a year. Projects must contribute to the development and improvement of the Swiss education system through cooperation between one or more Swiss institutions and one or more European or non-European institutions.