BY CAROLINE SÜESS
Migration — what does this term mean in the context of an arts university? A great deal and many different things, as the contributions to this subject reveal. The narrative of departure, wandering, and arrival is universal. And yet only individual accounts and faces make it tangible. ZHdK game designer Tabea Iseli has created Francisco and Amelia, the lead characters of the awardwinning “Cloud Chasers,” where father and daughter flee their increasingly inhospitable homeland and struggle against giant cloud-reapers. This serious game provides a playful approach to migration — because only thus will this pressing issue reach its target audience, says Tabea Iseli.
Many artists cross national borders to receive or continue their training. Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani casts a nostalgic look back to 1960, when he left his native Milano to study photography in Zurich. Guest composer Jorge Sánchez-Chiong, who has found cultural asylum in Austria, sees matters more soberly. Like fellow composer Elena Mendoza, he regards migration as an influential element of his artistic identity. Art emerges between cultures.
Migration can also be approached from a less familiar perspective, as reveal the brief interview with the Zollfreilager Cultural Migration Observatory and art student Evan Ruetsch’s photographic series on his state-supervised integration as a Swiss into Swiss society.