Our Offices & Partners Abroad

For detailed information please click on the offices and cultural centres below. For further information on the headquarters in Zurich please go to: www.prohelvetia.ch

Projects supported >

The Sailing Stones Festival – Tunisia

Tunisia — Festival, Music

Pro Helvetia Cairo has support the second edition of Sailing Stones Festival 2019, from April 12 to 14. During these three days, 19 music groups from Tunisia, Switzerland, France, Germany, Syria and England gave life to the historical ruins of Althiburos, in Dahmeni (Tunisia).

We have supported the participation of 3 solo acts: The Pyrit, Bit-Tuner, Belia Winnewisser, two groups: Lord Kesseli & The Drums, One Sentence. Supervisor, and two music professionals: Marcel Bieri, artistic director of B-sides festival (CH) and Nik Fischer, co-organizer of One of a million festival (CH).

This edition of the festival developed a music residency program in partnership with B-Sides Festival in order to smooth the interaction between Swiss and Tunisian musicians and to encourage the circulation of these two musical universes beyond their borders. Musicians spent together 6 days before the festival experimenting, finalizing demos or songs, meeting local musicians, creating together, and took inspiration of surrounding landscape. All Swiss musicians took part of the residency program.

In addition to the residency, the festival included workshops with an aim to build bridges between contemporary art and sound by encouraging artists to create sound installations in the surrounding landscape. A playful workshop, focusing on sound experimentation was also offered to young members of the audience.

Sailing Stones 2019 Music Video:

And here is the outcome of this amazing collaboration! Sailing Stones 2019’s tapes were published towards the end of the year (2019).

“After the B-Sides association invited the Bookmaker family including Youssef Chebbi and Thomas Kuratli, and Sameh Arfaoui from the Sailing Stones family in Tunisia to B-Sides Festival in June 2018, we started the process of organizing the second edition of Sailing Stones with the result of bringing almost 30 artists, and promoters from Switzerland (with the financial support of Pro Helvetia Cairo), Germany, Belgium, UK and France to Tunisia. We’re looking back on an amazing residency with a lot of beautiful, difficult, and important discussions, 10 hours of recorded music for the first sailing stones tape, a lot of improvisation, and the organization of an amazing festival, even though the weather was not with us. And with the result, that the small scene of current music in Tunisia, after this crazy, unexpected experience, is very motivated to work closer together, and build a community around the Sailing Stones idea. Even though the festival lost money due to the weather conditions, it seems like everybody is very motivated to continue, which is why four people of the new formed Sailing Stones committee will visit Switzerland in June for a research trip. Two of them will arrive in time for the Bad Bonn Kilbi with the goal to be a part the construction, and dismantling of the B-Sides Festival. The other two will solely be here for the period of the festival. Again with the financial help of Pro Helvetia Cairo and B-Sides” Marcel Bieri, artistic director of B-sides Festival. – See full testimonial HERE

Upcoming maintenance work

The application portal myprohelvetia will be updated from 1.1.-7.1.2024. Due to these changes, open applications must be finalized and submitted via the current online portal (myprohelvetia.ch) by the latest 23:59 on 31 December 2023. Until this date, the deadlines and criteria outlined in the current guidelines and calls for applications apply. New applications can be created and submitted in the application portal as of 8 January 2024.