Pro Helvetia South America is one of the six liaison offices of the Swiss Arts Council located in major regions of the world – the other five are in Cairo, Johannesburg, Moscow, New Delhi, and Shanghai. Pro Helvetia also maintains a cultural centre in Paris and makes financial contributions to the Istituto Svizzero in Rome and Milan and the Swiss Institute in New York.
Pro Helvetia South America Liaison Office focuses on developing collaborative networks, promoting cultural exchange, and raising awareness of Swiss contemporary arts in the region. We establish links with local artists and event organisers, developing and fostering long-term collaborations. We support co-productions between artists from the regions concerned; we organise residencies and research trips.
Pro Helvetia’s presence in South America dates to 2017, when «COINCIDENCIA – Swiss & South American Cultural Exchanges» was launched. The programme ran until 2020, focusing on exchanges between Switzerland and countries South American countries, besides strengthening regional partnerships. Following this work, it was decided that Pro Helvetia would establish a permanent liaison office in the continent, maintaining its decentralised structure.
Activities and Focus
As Pro Helvetia’s first decentralised office, we operate in South America with representatives in Bogotá (CO), Buenos Aires (AR), La Paz (BO), São Paulo (BR) – where the Communication office is – and Santiago (CL), where the Head of Office is based. We work throughout the region, supporting projects not only in these countries, but also in Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
There is an exploratory and interdisciplinary approach to our programme. We encourage work that forges connections between the art world and other fields of research and practice, especially between art, science, and technology. We also support exchanges around critical issues and problems in contemporary artistic practices. Our work is guided by the criteria of quality and relevance.