Over a period of half a year, more than seventy migrants took part in oral history workshops where they discussed their own life stories. They came to Switzerland from Italy, Germany, Hungary, Turkey and former Yugoslavia. Swiss people who moved from remote mountain regions to urban centres in the forties and fifties also took part.

In another workshop, children from European and overseas countries dealt with their experiences of migration, too.

At the end of 1999, as part of an intercultural exhibition at the Design Museum (Museum für Gestaltung) in Zurich, the memories of immigrants and internal migrants, together with contemporary documents were presented. The exhibition was brought closer to various groups of visitors by guides and a supporting programme. For the first time, a view of the rich culture and experience of migration in Switzerland which incorporated the perspective of contemporary witnesses was made available to the public.

A reduced version of the exhibition was on display at 24 locations in German-speaking Switzerland in the form of a video installation from 2001 to 2003. “Here and Away. Living in Two Worlds” helped to stimulate diverse intercultural exchange events in schools and at regional and local cultural centres. A total of over 20,000 people visited the exhibition.  

The video installation has been complemented by a book and a video, published by Limmat Verlag of Zurich. Both are available in bookshops. They can also, along with further audiovisual material and documents from the oral history workshops and the exhibition, be borrowed or viewed on site at the Swiss Social Archive in Zurich.

Project development 1998 - 2004:

Final Report, 2004 (PDF)

Overall project concept and implementation:

AV-Produktionen Heinz Nigg

Travelling exhibition and video documentation partners:

bkf architects, Sabine Fischer, Frank Hyde-Antwi, Thomas O. Maurer, Jolanda Piniel und Lukas Rüegg