In times of flows of refugees, which changes structures throughout Europe, there solely exists an almost forgotten ancient law in the Scandinavian countries and Switzerland: The Allemannsretten says that every human being, regardless of origin or race, is allowed to set up his or her camp all over the open landscape. However, what about this libertine law in 2015?
Small, wealthy – Scandinavia and Switzerland are among the top-ten of the global richest countries – socially orientated – this characterisation applies to the Scandinavian countries as well as Switzerland. But what are the dark sides of these apparently exemplary societies? Who is allowed to participate in their wealth and who is excluded? Artists and scientists from Scandinavia and Switzerland discuss these issues.
Geographically distant, at first glance more appears to divide Switzerland and Scandinavia than unite. But: none of the countries has more than ten million inhabitants; all occupy a place on the list of the top ten richest countries in the world. Additionally, social structures and mentalities bear striking similarities.
“One for all, all for one” the Swiss slogan runs, propagating solidarity and equality while creating the basis for a highly participatory democracy. It is mirrored by the Scandinavian Jantelagen-principle which aims for the equivalence of all citizens, while accepting that this restricts individual freedom. This includes the Freedom to Roam, which, outside of Scandinavia and Switzerland is known only in Scotland: irrespective of land ownership, everyone can access and enjoy the land. Cosiness, or hyggelige is also valued highly in all four countries.
The hygge and its implied familiar relationships come at a high cost: foreigners are treated at times with hatred and suspicion. Political parties that promise to limit access to the country’s prosperity to the citizens born there enjoy increasing popularity. In 2014, a small minority of Swiss voted in a referendum for a drastic tightening of immigration laws. In the same year, Sweden, a country usually praised for its tolerance, the populist right wing party “Swedish Democrats” increased its share of the vote by seven per cent and became the third most popular party in the country.

But how did this situation develop, and how can it be countered? Artists and scientists discuss strategies to combat hatred, racism and isolation.





05.12., 5 PM (Bern)

Panellist includes:

Carsten Jensen, Danish author, born 1952, is widely considered one of Denmark’s finest, most outspoken and critical participants in the public debate. An unflinching and uncompromising defender of the weak and of the values of humanity.
In 2009 Carsten Jensen was awarded the prestigious Olof Palme Prize for his “work, in word and deed, to defend the weak and vulnerable as well in his own country as around the world”.
An avid traveller, Carsten Jensen has produced several critically acclaimed travel biographies, the most famous of which are probably Jeg har set verden begynde (I Have Seen the World Begin) from 1996 and Jeg har hørt et stjerneskud (I Have Heard a Shooting Star) from the following year. He was awarded the Golden Laurels in 1997 for the former, the most coveted literary prize in Denmark. His many travels have taken Carsten Jensen to both Balkan and Afghanistan where he has reported on the wars, the atrocities committed and the political motivation behind Danish presence in these war zones.
As a writer of literary fiction Carsten Jensen is equally successful. His bestselling novel Vi, de druknede (We, the Drowned) has been published in more than a dozen countries and sold more than 500,000 copies world-wide.

Ariane Andereggen Education at the art college in Bern and academy for design in Karlsruhe. Actor, video artist, at Theater Basel since 2012.

Kijan Espahangizi studies of history and physics in Cologne and Sevilla, managing director of the center "history of knowledge" at the university of Zurich since 2010

Prof. Dr. Klaus Müller-Wille Professor of Scandinavian literature at the University of Zurich. Research interests: Scandinavian romance, neo-avantgarde, theories about script and writing, theories of the body

Lucie Tuma Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen, co-founder of the duo Chuck Morris, since 2010 co-productions with Gessnerallee Zurich and other European theaters and festivals

Laura Stämmer is working in the area of refugee aid in Basel and has also graduated in Scandinavian Studies.