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Program 9

Switzerland is Not an Island

Swiss sans papiers

Thursday, October 24, 2013, 7 p.m.

„Swiss sans papiers“
D: Andreas Hoessli, CH 2006, 50 min, German/French with English subtitles

In 2006, a study by the Federal Office for Migration stated that there are 90,000 people living and working without a residence permit in Switzerland. In Swiss sans papiers, Andreas Hoessli travels with his camera into this zone of invisibility. In German-Switzerland no one wants to risk speaking openly in front of the camera. In French-Switzerland the atmosphere is more tolerant: Sans Papiers speak for the first time about their lives as “illegals,” about the reasons why they came to Switzerland, and about their attempts to legalize their status. The film gives visibility to people who in terms of the law, are illegal, and often economically exploited in the informal economy.

Andreas Hoessli: “When you get on a commuter rail in Geneva headed to Lausanne at nine in the morning, women from Ecuador, Bolivia, or Columbia, some from Kosovo or the Ivory Coast, get off at every station. They are on the way to Swiss people’s apartments and villas, to do the cleaning; ... that means that one ‘knows,’ when one notices it, that a part of ‘normal Switzerland’ is that people without residence permits account for an important sector of the economy in this country.”

The activist Candelaria Solares and the head of SPAZ (Sans-Papier-Contact point Zurich) as well as the director Andreas Hoessli will be present at the screening