The Project

La Suisse au miroir du monde is a project of the University of Fribourg (Faculty of Arts and Humanities, History of Modern and Contemporary Societies) and of eikonEMF – arts and communication, with the support of Pro Helvetia. It highlights the cultural dimension of Switzerland’s image abroad.

Cultural policy abroad

Swiss cultural foreign policy was developed in the first decades of the 20th century. Under the responsibility of Pro Helvetia and other institutions, cultural relations are based on art exhibitions, concert tours, distribution of books and films, and connections with leading figures abroad. Cultural activities add the finishing touch to a comprehensive Swiss image abroad, so far dominated by the promotion of economy and tourism.

Did you know ?

At the end of the 1940s, Pro Helvetia began distributing recorded music to raise Swiss composers‘ profiles. Just as books and documentaries, records and CDs represent Swiss culture abroad. In the beginning of the 21st century this policy is continued with the production of various compilations of Swiss music.


A “second path” for Third-World countries

1970 to 2000

By their very nature, museums of ethnography are part of a country’s cultural relations.

The Swiss abroad – promoting cultural influence

1916 to 1976

For  a long time, Switzerland had been a country of emigration, its inhabitants leaving because of

Cultural relations and the National Commission for UNESCO

1949 to 2016

By joining UNESCO in 1949, Switzerland not only became part of one of the agencies of the UN, but

Rousseau made in Switzerland

1945 to 1968

Quite often, Rousseau was instrumentalised, reinvented and “helvetised” by Switzerland’s cultural

A brief survey of Swiss culture in Japan

1950 to 1970

In Japan book fairs enjoy high regard.

A young historian thinking about Switzerland’s cultural influence


Pro Helvetia was founded in 1939 to join the struggle for the Spiritual Defence.

The architects and the renewal of cultural relations between Switzerland and Germany after World War II


After the war, the question of cultural relations with the German neighbour remained something of

The origins of the Swiss pavilion at the “Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris"

1925 to 1933

Combining cultural and science diplomacy, the Swiss pavilion at the “Cité Internationale Universit

Men and women working for Pro Helvetia

1939 to 2012

First and foremost, Pro Helvetia is a Board of Trustees, originally consisting of 25 members, and

Switzerland and UNESCO - a culture of peace


“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must b