Country Focus: Switzerland
First Federal Law for Culture
by Anna Percival
- For the first time in its history, Switzerland has equipped itself with a law for the promotion of culture, but no funds to give it substance. And for a good reason: the financial commitment of the cantons still predominates in this field.
This rather empty shell thus disappoints expectations, but it’s a step in the right direction at least and defines the distribution of tasks between the Federal Office for Culture (OFC) and the Pro Helvetia Culture Foundation.
Created in 1939 on the brink of the Second World War to defend Swiss cultural identity against the threat of Nazism, the latter distributes funds for creation and is in charge of cultural mediation and encouraging new generations of filmmakers.
On the other hand, it is the responsibility of the OFC, which is still in charge of film funding, to steer cultural policy and give the go-ahead to large-scale projects. Next year, the OFC will outline the objectives for the period 2012-2015.