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Verein Shedhalle

Rote Fabrik
Seestrasse 395
CH-8038 Zürich

Tel + 41 44 4815950
Fax +41 44 4815951



The project has been nominated for the Visible Award 2015 by Boris Kostadinov

The Whole World in Zurich

Concrete Interventions into the Swiss migration politics

October 2015–February 2016

Opening: Thu 22 October 2015 with a ferry ride

Meeting point Steg Bürkliplatz: 7 p.m., departure: 7:30 p.m.

Arrival Hafen Wollishofen: 8:30 p.m., followed by a party at the Shedhalle

First Harbor Forum: Sat 24 October, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Second Harbor Forum on Social Practice: Sat 28 November, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Third Harbor Forum : Sat 6 February 2016, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Video: youtube

The project “The Whole World in Zurich” demands legal, political, social, and cultural participation and investigates how the concept of urban citizenship for everyone living in Zurich can be concretized and realized.

A quarter of all of Switzerland’s residents are, for the most part, excluded from legal, social, economic, and cultural participation in the city and society because they are not Swiss citizens. It aims at developing concrete interventions in dominant migration and participation policies, testing out the feasibility of these proposals in Zurich, and suggesting them publicly. In addition, it creates a location where in the sense of a social utopia, it is possible to collectively contemplate, negotiate, and take political action beyond practical constraints.

The project situates itself in the tradition of socially engaged art. For this, the Shedhalle invited the artist Martin Krenn, who developed and realized the project together with Katharina Morawek (curatorial director of the Shedhalle) and a transdisciplinary working group.

Urban Citizenship

The project refers to the concept of Urban Citizenship. Meant by that is a “citizenship of the city,” or also a “resident-ship.”
While the term “citizenship” ties fundamental rights to the borders of a nation state, to the control of mobility, and permanent residency, urban citizenship is the adaptation of political instruments to the diverse norm of modern metropolises (see “Städte statt Staaten” for further reference)


The project’s experimental character is one of its essential features. Using the means of art, it attempts to explore what the political feasibility of a concrete, realizable proposal, such as an urban citizenship in Zurich, might look like.

Central to “The Whole World in Zurich” is the idea of a harbor, which evokes various images: mobility, globalism, trade and negotiation, arrival, anchoring, diversity, and cosmopolitanism. The metaphor likewise evokes in part contradictory or problematic images, which the project takes up and works on.

Atotal of seven harbor talks will take place. The harbor talks represent a dialogic-aesthetic designed space in which members of the working group, as well as representatives from interest groups, decision makers, city politicians, employees of public institutions, etc. participate. The harbor talks themselves will take place in the Shedhalle without public access, which means that the Shedhalle functions as a protected space.

In three public harbor forums, which will each last for a day, local and international actors will meet and debate, but also exchange experiences and learn from one another. The claim of enabling debate at eye-level, finds its correspondence in an exhibition architecture that is consciously arranged for this purpose.

The first harbor forum on urban citizenship is planned for October 24, 2015 (two days after the opening of the project) and is meant to provide insight into current debates, conflicts, and confrontations as well as enable concrete links to the situation in Zurich.

The Exhibition

The project will be accompanied by an exhibition in der Shedhalle on the history and practice of socially engaged art. The exhibition provides a framework for the project and creates a connection to similar historical and current projects.
A key part of the exhibition is the exhibition architecture, which orients on the project’s harbor metaphor and creates dialogic conversation spaces for the harbor talks, harbor forums, and working group meetings.


Think tank of the project is an interdisciplinary working group.

The working group is made up of the following members:

In addition to broad expert knowledge, heterogeneous experiences, perspectives, and approaches to the demand for urban citizenship and participation in Zurich come together in the working group. All members of the working group have diverse project experience and are well networked with cultural, anti-racism, and migration policy contexts or are a part of them. These networks should, no least, be activated for the project. The working group will meet regularly to define the strategic orientation of the project, and prepare the questions and direction of the harbor talks and harbor forums.

Shedhalle sees itself as a "safe harbor". There is a dialogical space designed with the means of art to make it possible that experts with experience in racism and a background of migration come together with decision makers from the city of Zurich, as well with persons from the cultural field to leave established roles behind to discuss and negotiate concrete proposals for an urban citizenship in Zurich beyond from conventional constraints.

The project aims to work out, together with lawyers, politicians, and activists, a concrete model for an urban citizenship in Zurich, to examine it legally, politically, and ethically, and in the context of the third and final harbor forum and a subsequent press conference, hand it over to the public for realization.

In addition to making a concrete proposal, “The Whole World in Zurich” wants to spark a debate on urban citizenship in Zurich and Switzerland, and stimulate the formation of long-term alliances between various actors straight across the city. The project’s process-based and interdisciplinary character, the formats of forums and group talks, as well as the collaboration of diverse actors should also honor this claim within the project, internally.

The experiences of socially engaged art projects in the past twenty-five years will flow into the development and realization of the project. The concept of post-identity-based solidarity shapes the key prerequisite for our project’s interweaving of art, political action, and social engagement.

Supported by Österreichisches Kulturforum.