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 >

«MATZA Edgelands» [CO]

Colombia — Events

More information


MATZA Edgelands is an art project that investigates urban realities. It mainly explores social relations in a changing world, which witnesses technological developments while watching the rise of insecurity, individualism and mass urbanisation. And it focuses on cities and their edgelands – with their diversities and complexities – as the core of these changes.

Medellin [CO] is no exception to this reality. That’s where MATZA invited 11 artists from Switzerland, Colombia, and Kenya to explore the notion of “social contract” in Colombian society. Imagining new forms of relationships in a dynamic and deeply divided context, the group explored the possibilities of exchange in the local dynamics.

The works created in this process were part of the exhibition «Common Grounds», curated by Séverin Guelpa and Anja Wyden Guelpa [CH] and shown at Bodega Comfama [CO].

The artists and scientists Sara Arango [CO], Felipe Castelblanco [CO], Alejandro Duque [CO], Ogutu Mu-raya [KEN], Onyis Martin [KEN], Sandrine Pelletier [CH], Margarita Pineda [CO], Valentina Pini [CH], Julie Semoroz [CH], Angelica Teuta [CO] and Tatyana Zambrano [CO] participated in the project.

The project then moved on to a second stage in Cúcuta [CO], on the border with Venezuela, in a similar process, culminating in a small exhibition.

“In Cúcuta we had a very strong experience,” says Guelpa. “There was this desire to find a border city, with all the universal aspects it can have, and it is completely influenced by its proximity to Venezuela. We arrived at a moment when the two presidents, Gustavo Petro [CO] and Nicolás Maduro [VE], announced the possible reopening of the border. There was a kind of effervescence, everyone was talking about it. And we observed all the informal, illegal networks of crossings, of incoming goods, families completely torn apart, divided. Talking about security with these people was extremely enriching because we normally look at this problem in a totally different way. And that is precisely what interests us with MATZA Edgelands, that is, to reflect on the way in which security or common rules are constructed in a territory.”

The Edgelands project will then move on to Nairobi, Geneva, Chicago, Singapore and Beirut.



Artists and curators of «Common Grounds», exhibition © Juan S. Escobar

MATZA is an artistic initiative that focuses on the power of art as a generator of social transformations and innovation. With the three years MATZA EDGELANDS program, it aims to create the conditions for collective reflection and experimentation, seeking to outline new forms of social contract in a global context of mass urbanization, increased surveillance, and pandemic insecurity. The project invests in the urban peripheries, believing that the solutions are to be found in the margins of urban development and in the dynamism of local initiatives.

Other Projects