Main Events – a Selection

25 years of the Swiss Literary Archives

In 2016 the Swiss Literary Archives (SLA) celebrated 25 years since their foundation. Over the course of the year, the anniversary programme examined the three avant-garde waves in literature - including Swiss literature - to date. The opening months of the year presented the avant-garde that formed prior to the First World War, for example with the exhibition DADA original. This was followed by the avant-garde after World War Two, an appreciation of which was included in the Quarto issue Graz sei Dank! In the last third of the year, the focus shifted to the contemporary avant-garde, representatives of which appeared on 18 November for the culmination and conclusion of the anniversary year.

DADA original

DADA original, 7.3.–28.5.2016
DADA original, 7.3.–28.5.2016

Marking 100 years since the founding of the artists' movement known as Dada, the SLA exhibition looked at its initial phase, in particular Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings. In addition to Ball's legendary Dada Manifesto, a number of other original documents from Ball and Hennings' literary estates were on display, including pictures, letters and texts. One particular focal point was a selection of portrait photographs revealing the many facets and faces of Emmy Hennings. Materials from the Arche Verlag publishing house in Zurich documented the history of Dada's post-facto reception.

tü-ta-too – The ear on tour

11.3.-7.8.2016 / 27.8.2016-29.1.2017
In 2012, to mark 25 years since it was founded, the Swiss National Sound Archives launched the touring exhibition tü-ta-too. The ear on tour, a journey through Switzerland's sound heritage. It includes recordings of classical music, rock, jazz, pop, audio books, plays and interviews. It was shown at the Musée jurassien d'art et d'histoire in Delémont from 11 March to 7 August 2016, and the Musée gruérien in Bulle from 27 August 2016 to 29 January 2017. It moves to the National Library for its eighth and final presentation in 2017.

Museum Night in Bern

Museum Night in Bern, 18.3.2016
Museum Night in Bern, 18.3.2016

A particular feature of Museum Night in Bern is the Fahrendes Museum, a fleet of classic cars in which visitors are chauffeured around. In 2016 the stipulated route started at Bellevue in Bern and ended at the entrance to the NL. Here the theme for the night was Dada, with workshops where children could write Dada poems and make masks. The programme for adults was devoted to the two key figures in the movement's initial phase. An actor read poems and texts by Emmy Hennings, while a stage and radio play presented three aspects of Hugo Ball's dazzling personality: Dadaism, anarchism and Catholicism.

Wie der Gotthard zu seinem Mythos kam – Der Gebirgspass in der Geschichtsschreibung von 1900 bis heute

In a lecture marking World Book Day, the historian and science journalist Urs Hafner examined the ways in which historiography has dealt with the Gotthard. He demonstrated that far from simply elucidating it, the sciences have romanticised the Gotthard, thereby contributing to the construction of its myth. Hafner also prepared an e-dossier on the topic. The e-dossier Der Gotthard im Spiegel von Zeitungen und Zeitschriften, compiled by the NL itself, looked at the Gotthard in newspapers and periodicals.

Graz sei Dank!

Vernissage of the Quarto issue Graz sei Dank! 18.5.2016
Vernissage of the Quarto issue Graz sei Dank! 18.5.2016

How did Graz develop into a secret capital of German-language literature? An issue of Quarto examined this question as well as the friendships between Swiss and Austrian literary figures. Swiss author Reto Hänny, Klaus Hoffer, a writer from Graz, and literary critic Samuel Moser spoke at the vernissage. The event was accompanied by a cabinet exhibition of original documents from the SLA.

Ionesco – Dürrenmatt. Peinture et théâtre

Ionesco – Dürrenmatt. Peinture et théâtre, 12.6–11.9.2016
Ionesco – Dürrenmatt. Peinture et théâtre, 12.6–11.9.2016

Eugène Ionesco (1909-1994) and Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990) met in Paris in 1957. Both writers also had a passion for drawing and painting. The exhibition at the Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel (CDN) shed light on these less familiar aspects of their oeuvres and examined the links between their dramatic works which, for all their dark humour and apparent pessimism, are profoundly humane.

Summer academy

The seventh SLA summer academy at the CDN mapped out the scope of the various avant-gardes, with lectures, seminars, podium discussions and screenings of films on Avant-gardes and Avant-gardism.

Sprachsprünge – Poetiken literarischer Mehrsprachigkeit in Graubünden

The public conference at the Hotel Waldhaus in Sils focused on multilingual texts. Scholars of Romansh, Italian and German spoke in their respective languages, and there were readings from Arno Camenisch, Angelika Overath, Tim Krohn and Leta Semadeni. The event was organised jointly by the SLA and the Institut für Kulturforschung Graubünden.

iPRES 2016

Christa Markwalder, President of the National Council, opens iPRES 2016, 3.10.2016
Christa Markwalder, President of the National Council, opens iPRES 2016, 3.10.2016

The Conference on Digital Preservation (iPRES) is the longest-established international conference on the topic. It was held for the first time in Beijing in 2001 and took place in Switzerland in 2016. More than 300 specialists from 30 countries met from 3 to 6 October in Bern, where researchers, developers and users discussed methods of preservation. iPRES 2016 was organised by the Swiss National Library. The opening address was given by Christa Markwalder, President of the National Council.

Federal buildings – the architecture of official Switzerland

Marie-Christine Doffey, Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer and Gustave E. Marchand at the opening of the exhibition Bundesbauten, 13.10.2016
Marie-Christine Doffey, Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer and Gustave E. Marchand at the opening of the exhibition Bundesbauten, 13.10.2016

In the touring exhibition Bundesbauten the Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics (FOBL) offered an insight into its work as the Confederation's commissioning authority for buildings. Through a selection of constructions, it also placed the FOBL's work in its historical context. The exhibition opening was simultaneously a farewell event for Gustave E. Marchand, who had headed the FOBL for 17 years since it was set up in 1999. The speech was given by Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer.

6C 1500 – François Bon reads Blaise Cendrars

This evening event gave François Bon an opportunity to present his own reading of Blaise Cendrars. The event was organised by the SLA and the Department of Languages and Literatures (Domaine Français) at the University of Fribourg.

The role of conservation in digitisation projects

Conference on the role of conservation in digitisation projects, 17.11.2016
Conference on the role of conservation in digitisation projects, 17.11.2016

Digitisation projects also require input from a conservation perspective. At a specialist conference, experts from the NL, other institutions and companies involved explored and discussed the questions and problems that arise.

Day and night at the Archives – the SLA celebrates

Lisa Christ, 18.11.2016
Lisa Christ, 18.11.2016

To conclude its 25th anniversary year, the SLA staged a dual literature festival in Switzerland's official languages. In the afternoon, authors and their archivists discussed issues of archiving, cataloguing and appraisal. This was followed in the evening by a podium discussion featuring the young generation: the avant-garde of contemporary Swiss literatures.

Last modification 16.06.2016

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