Pictures to raise
Awareness on the challenges
Facing Mountain Regions






March 2020: The coronavirus paralyses Europe and large parts of the world. Borders are closed. Public life is drastically restricted. Those who can, stay at home. Within a few days, our lives have changed completely.


Many experience the shutdown as a phase of deceleration that allows us to rethink our own needs and lifestyle. What do I need to live a happy life? How much solidarity do I show towards others and what does nature mean to me?


An exhibition with photos from the archive of the SMArt programme.



27 June 2020, 15:00, Kaplaneihaus, Ernen

Aperitif will be offered by the municipality of Ernen



28 June – 13 September 2020

Daily 10:00 – 18:00



Sublime effroi - Exhibition of Liz Tasa in Lima

After her stay in Sierre during the autumn 2019, Liz Tasa presents her work, Sublime effroi, in Lima.


In the course of her three-month residency at the Château Mercier in Sierre, the Peruvian photographer Liz Tasa has taken a very free approach in her work to honouring the abundant visions in the myths and legends of the Valais region, as well as the famous novel La Grande Peur dans la montagne (Terror on the Mountain) by Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz1. Relying on a variety of visual techniques, her collection of images explores several themes associated with untamed nature that subtly resonate with Ramuz’s universe.


To discover from 6 March to 4 April 2020, Centro de la Imagen, Lima



6 March 2020, 19:30, Centro de la Imagen, Lima



A dive into the evolution of Valais glaciers with Stephanie Montes

During her residency in Crochetan Theater in Monthey from March to May 2020, Stephanie Montes, 29 years old Colombian photographer, wants to dive into the past of the Valais people and their relationship with the glaciers through family album and various visual archives. Focusing on glaciers, their transformation due to climate change and its possible disappearance, she would like to understand the links between the intimate, the memory and the landscape of today’s mountains.

Graduated in visual art and graphic design, Stephanie Montes is interested in the impermanence of things, always looking to experiment with printing materials and surfaces that show her the passage of time. She usually works in a narrative way by building bodies of images that translate her experience of the world in a poetic and almost dreamlike way.



Weeds or flowers - Exhibition of Malika Sqalli in Marrakech

After her stay in Valle Verzasca – touristic area of the Italian part of Switzerland – last summer, Malika Sqalli presents her work, Weeds or flowers, at ESAV Marrakech.


Arriving with the intention of representing the valley’s relationship with tourism, she quickly felt oppressed by these « tourist spots » located close to the beaten track and easily accessible: overcrowded car parks and rocks, trendy riverside spots on the Instagram. Faithful to her initial idea, she nevertheless decides to launch her project: she captures the places most frequented by tourists. In his images, she decides to represent the visitors with bright colours that – according to the title of his project – can be seen according to the sensibility of the spectator, like flowers or weeds. Even if the artist leaves us this freedom of interpretation, what emerges is a vision that seeks to highlight an artificial and alien presence in the place.


To discover from 31 January 29 February 2020, ESAV, Marrakech



30 January 2019, 18:30, ESAV, Marrakech



Exhibition – Sublime dread – Liz Tasa

During her three-month residency in Sierre, Peruvian photographer Liz Tasa freely pays tribute, through her work, to the abundant visions of Valais myths and legends. Liz Tasa’s photographic universe is based on a mixture of fear and fascination produced by the sovereignty of nature. Lenient, beautiful and generous, she can also be frightening. Earthquakes, avalanches, landslides, cyclones…. embody the omnipotence of the elements when they break out. Through her photographs, Liz Tasa invites us to a « walk » in the heart of haughty and imposing scenery, on the scale of which we measure our smallness and vulnerability. On the borderline between materiality and fantasy, dreams and nightmares, these visions that touch the realm of the impalpable highlight our archaic fears, our superstitions and our dark areas.


Varnishing and Tales & legends evening


Thursday 21 November – 18:00


In order to nourish and sublimate Liz Tasa’s work, a couple of Cuban-Swiss storytellers will come to breathe a mysterious atmosphere by telling legends of the mountain during the opening of the exhibition.


Opening hours


22 November – 8 December 2019

Mon-Fri 17:00 – 20:00

Sat-Sun 14:00 – 17:00


 Evening guided tour and sound performance


Saturday 30 November 2019 – 18:00


This evening invites to enter an enigmatic sound and visual universe through a guided stroll in the heart of Liz Tasa’s exhibition.



SMArt contributes to a book on migration in the Alps

Alpine Refugees. Immigration at the core of Europe


This collection of essays highlights how given Alpine territories in Austria, Italy, and Switzerland are currently facing challenges imposed by migration, the barriers and limitations they are encountering, and the extent to which migration triggers policy and territorial innovations that can generate beneficial impacts for both migrants and local inhabitants.


The article on SMArt shows how an artistic project can positively influence the culture of welcome in a region and contribute to the integration of refugees, with two concrete examples : Lavonne Bosman, Light of hope and M’hammed Kilito, On est ensemble.


To be ordered from  Cambridge Scholars Publishing




Flash exhibition of Juan Pablo Marin at CIPRA annual conference in Altdorf

From 24 to 26 October, the annual conference of CIPRA (International commission for the protection of the Alps), named this year “Cultural Laboratory Alps”, will take place in Altdorf, Uri. The theme of the culture will be questioned through what forces are being unleashed in the Alps, how they work and what framework conditions are needed so that cultural initiatives can make a contribution to sustainable development.


Taking advantage of this international event, a “flash exhibition” of Juan Pablo Marin’s work is organised during the conference. This year, the Colombian photographer was in residence for 3 month in Goeschenen, Uri, and focused his work on what he called “the fruit of the mountains”: the crystals. His artwork presents landscapes and portraits of crystalseekers viewed through the prism of a crystal.


More information:



Juan Pablo Marin presents his crystal view of the Alps in Colombia

After his 3 months’ stay in the Swiss Alps (Goeschenen, Uri), Juan Pablo Marin presents his exhibition in Cali Colombia. The fruit of the mountains – as he likes to call the crystals that lie in the rocks of the mountains – inspired him for his artwork. With series of crystalseekers’ portraits and landscapes made through filter of crystals, he offers a glimpse of the people lifestyle in the mountains who love these precious stones and respect the nature.


His exhibition is to be discovered from 11 October to 11 November 2019 at Lugar a Dudas  in Cali, Colombia.



Thursday 18 October 2019, Calle 15 Norte, Barrio Granada, Cali, Colombia




Lebanon Mountains High Atlas 2017-2019

Lebanon Mountains High Atlas 2017-2019 is a cooperation project between Dar al-Mussawir, Beirut, and Ecole Supérieure des Arts Visuels de Marrakech (ESAVM) within the SMArt programme. It aims at building new collaborations between international cultural partners and encouraged a respective “regards-croisés” on common issues between mountains areas in Lebanon and Morocco.

This project included an exchange of six young and emerging talents in photography and video to initiate a dynamic cultural exchange between Lebanon and Morocco and to allow opportunity for young artists in photography, film and multimedia from both countries to explore projects on mountain areas themes.

Through an open call in both countries, the photographers were selected and participated in two workshops and residencies, in Lebanon and Morocco:


From Lebanon: Ashraf Mtaweh, Hussam Hawwa and Ziad Hage

From Morocco: Abderrahmane Marzoug, Zahrine Kahlo and Ziad Naitaddi 


On 19th September, ESAV Marrakech will open the Moroccan exhibition.The opening event will include a talk with the participants and a wide audience is invited to participate, students as well as the local town residents.


On 3rd October, Dar al-Musswir will inaugurate the Lebanese exhibition.


Exhibition Morocco


19th September 2019, 19:30-21:30


19th September-9th November 2019


Exhibition Lebanon


3rd October 2019





Moroccan photographer Malika Sqalli at Verzasca FOTO Festival

“In camino”, the 2019 edition of Verzasca FOTO Festival focuses on the theme of walking. The Festival aims to act as a crossroads for all the paths we’ve walked on, are walking on and will walk on in the future. This edition is dedicated to people in movement and the festival will become a place of inter-action and integration where we can share our stories and discover those of others thanks to the participation of photographers from all around the world.

In the frame of the Festival, Moroccan photographer Malika Sqalli, who was in residency during three months in Sonogno in  Verzasca Valley will celebrate the opening of her exhibition on Friday 6th September at 18:00.

The photography night on Saturday 7th September will also be an opportunity to discover the artwork of Malika Sqalli as well as numerous other artists.



Friday 6th September, 18:00, Sonogno, Tessin


Photography night

Saturday 7th September, 18:00, Sonogno, Tessin


Opening hours

Every day from 6 September to 5th November 2019, Sonogno, Tessin



Punchy but sensitive pictures with Peruvian photographer Liz Tasa

Social issues, such as racism, human right and social exclusion, are the basis of Peruvian photographer Liz Tasa’s work. Based on documentary photography, her engaged artwork is also full of sensitivity. Polyvalent, she works with digital camera as well as multimedia video or analog techniques. Her powerful style of pictures will invite people of Valais to reflect on their life in the mountains and the impact of climate change they are facing. For her three months’ residency, she still leaves herself the choice of the story she would like to tell: the Valais, considered as the water tower of Europe, running out of water? Or the violence of nature as a reaction to climate change through myths and legends? To be discovered in the next months!



Pictures of Btihal Remli at the universal exhibition of Raclette cheese!

During the PALP Festival, visit a photographic exhibition around the raclette cheese through a playful stroll in the village of Bruson. SMArt participates in this innovative event with the presentation of pictures from Bithal Remli. This Moroccan photographer realised a work on alpine agriculture when she was in residency in Valais in 2016. Her artwork, as well as works by contemporary artists and original archival images, can be discovered wandering through the old buildings, sneaking through the alleys, in a barn or at the back of a cheese cellar. Let’s celebrate Raclette cheese!


More information: PALP Festival


4 August – 29 September 2019
Open Thursday to Sunday


4 August, 11:00
Raclett’house, Bruson



Wenhuan Shao at Three Shadows Photography Art Centre

Early 2019 Wenhuan Shao had the opportunity to explore the alpine landscape. He engaged with the majestic Swiss mountain ranges and trained his lens on Swiss natural landmarks such as the Matterhorn and the Aletsch Glacier. After a three months residency and a first exhibition with Crochetan Theatre in Monthey, he will now present his series THE SOFTEN THE GLOW at Three Shadows Photography Art Center.


Taking photographs is just one step in Shao Wenhuan’s creative process. By assembling numerous focal points into a complete image that seems to conform to perspective (reality), he hides hundreds of moments in one image, creating something like the spiritual depictions of grand landscapes in nineteenth-century Romantic painting. He intervenes in the images using multiple artistic methods in addition to collage. Paint strokes, cuts, tears, abrasions, and stains all appear in the works, forming rich layers of natural and man-made detail. He also leaves tranquil white spaces in the images and uses black ink to give the sculptural glaciers a deeper black. These “scars” that appear in the images or in nature seem to hint at the pain hiding within the landscape. In his ongoing series Galaxy Box, Shao constructed programmed lightboxes as rectangular spaces that frame images of the Alpine night sky in distant Switzerland. The twinkling lights from human presence pierce the silence of the mountains and rivers; landscapes constantly vanish and are reborn in the fragmented images that persist in our eyes. The points of light and specks of dust in the shadowy mountain forests or the vast starry sky are visual wonders outside of the “experience” that Shao Wenhuan has created, inspiring both anxiety and fascination. Set against the exhibition’s title, “The Soften, The Glow,” the scars of mechanical violence constitute a poetic satire, highlighting the direct and indirect damage to landscapes caused by changes to human life and the resulting acceleration in natural resource extraction.


Exhibition from 29 June to 28 July 2019.

Time: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00-18:00

Location: Three Shadows Photography Art Centre

155A Caochangdi, Chaoyang District, Beijing




Exhibition - The sixth day - Tarek Haddad


Maternal and cruel, elementary and unendingly complex – nature rules the world. Suddenly the human race arrives with its dreams, ambitions and all-consuming need for security. Humans subjugate their environment, model it and use fire, language, reasoning and pictures to invent and produce thousands of artefacts. They rely on nature for sustenance while exploiting it to excess, they also derive inspiration and seek refuge in nature. In other words, they consume.


Through his art, Tarek Haddad questions the seemingly tyrannical and one-sided relationship we cultivate with nature. Instead of the bleak and accusing paintings one might expect, the viewer is invited into a poetic internalised world of deceleration and contemplation.


Vernissage – 29 June – 3:00 p.m.


Exhibition from 30 June to 15 September 2019 – Bellwald village centre


A heart and soul with nature” – 8 August – 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Spend an afternoon discovering Tarek Haddad’s photos, the area surrounding Bellwald and the smallest wonders of nature.



2:00 and 4:00 p.m. : Tour of the exhibition with the curator Muriel Constantin-Pitteloud

1:00 and 3:30 p.m. : Waldbaden (meditation and yoga in the mountains) with Claudia Meichtry

1:00 to 5:00 p.m. : creative workshop for adults and children

The sixth day



Exhibition - Waiting for Millions of Years - Juan Pablo Marìn


Juan Pablo Marìn calls them the fruit of the mountains: the crystals that inspire him as a photographer among the steep cliffs of Göschenen in Uri’s raw uplands. It took these marvels millions of years of gestation, deep in the earth, before they were ready for explorers to find them.


Marìn’s portraits of crystal seekers, those who live on the mountain and in the mountain, who make their living from the mountain but above all who live with the mountain, tell of their passion and love for its stones, of their awe and respect for nature. Marìn’s pictures offer a glimpse of these people, and of their landscape, refracted through the crystals they search for. His is a condensation of the metaphorical, of the mighty poetry of time and decay, of the mountains’ effect on body and spirit.


And indeed, born in 1983 in Columbia and raised 1400 meters above sea level in the town of Armenia, surrounded by the Andes, Juan Pablo Marìn sees himself as a montañero, a man of the mountains.


An exhibition in partnership with Kanton Uri and Kunstdepot Göschenen Foundation


Place and dates

From 21th June to 31th August 2019

Old church Göschenen (Uri)
lower part of the village, turn left from Göscheneralpstrasse


Varnishing : 21th June, 17:30


Opening hours :

Saturday-Sunday : 11:30 – 16:30

outside opening hours on request / contact: 076 371 09 26


Press review

Waiting for Millions of Years



Exploration of tourism in Verzasca valley with Malika Sqalli

The Moroccan photographer, Malika Sqalli, is issued from a mix cultural background, Austrian and Moroccan. Having lived in different countries since her childhood, she feels foreign and belonging to many places – and none – at the same time. This is why the themes of identity and culture inspire her in her artwork. During her stay in the Verzasca valley in Tessin, she will turn her gaze on the impacts of tourism on a place and she will wonder about the links between the culture and identity of the people living there and the mountains themselves. Thus, Malika Sqalli will not only be interested at the beautiful picture of the Verzasca valley that many tourists share on social networks but she will also scratch the varnish of appearances to apprehend another reality.



SMArt at the GPDRR 2019

SMArt participates in the sixth session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) and presents “Agony of a glacier”. With this series of pictures from the Rhône Glacier, the artist Laurence Piaget-Dubuis tells the story of a surreal and desperate attempt to stop the melting of the glacier.


The GDPRR is a biennial multi-stakeholder forum established by the UN General Assembly to review progress, share knowledge and discuss the latest developments and trends in reducing disaster risk. 2019 session is taking place in Geneva, Switzerland from 13 to 17 May, convened and organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and hosted by the Government of Switzerland.


“It has been another year of devastating events which have claimed many precious lives and destroyed entire communities. Disasters are a constant reminder to us that whatever progress we have been making in reducing disaster risk, it is still not enough.
The Global Platform is an opportunity for us to come together to renew and accelerate our efforts to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Achieving its targets for reducing disaster losses is a challenge and an opportunity to make the world a safer and more resilient place for future generations.”
Ms. Mami Mizutori Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction

Agony of a glacier, Laurence Piaget-Dubuis



Exhibition of Btihal Remli at the Work Hub in Vevey

The artwork produced by the Moroccan photographer Bithal Remli when she was in residency in Sierre in autumn 2016 are now shown at the co-working space The Work Hub in Vevey.

To discover until the end of summer!



Tarek Haddad: a Lebanese bud to hatch in Bellwald

The beginning of spring brings the bloom of a young growth in SMArt programme with the residency of Lebanese photographer Tarek Haddad in Bellwald.  His work is inspired and driven by a constant questioning of the emotional and relational human conducts. His projects concern on humanity’s engagement with the environment, in both spatial and cultural aspects.  During his 3 months’ stay, Tarek Haddad wants to work further on the human–nature relationship, and challenge his thinking process and approach towards it, particularly through the themes of climate change and water. The 28 years old photographer would mainly like to experiment the element water and its shifting states, between frozen and fluid. Without a doubt, the serenity of Bellwald’s surroundings will  blossom out his research on this theme.



Exhibition – The soften The glow – Wenhuan Shao

After many weeks of observation of the mountain summits of Valais, Wenhuan Shao presents his perspective of the alpine landscape through his exhibition “The soften The glow”.  The Chinese photographer makes the choice to exhibit his work mainly on “light boxes” and big format photos. He also intervents on images with special techniques in order to give his work a pictorial dimension. On one hand, the oversized pictures permit to emphasise the impression of strength and power of the mountain. On the other hand, the voluntary interventions suggest the « fragility » of the world, such as global warming and natural disasters.  Through his artwork, Wenhuan Shao intends to create an emotional reaction and thus to transcend cultural and geographical representations of the mountain in order to create a common value of nature.



Thursday 18 April – 18:00 – La Fabrik, Rte de Clos-Donroux 1, 1870 Monthey


Opening hours

19 April – 5 May 2019

Thursday-Sunday 14:00 – 18:00



Thursday 25 April 2019 – 19:00 – Lectures and guided tour “Perception of the alpine landscape over the centuries”



Juan Pablo Marin: a Colombian photographer in the mountains of Uri

SMArt starts a refreshing adventure this spring in Switzerland. A new residency is created in Göschenen with Kunstdepot, our partner in the Canton of Uri. Juan Pablo Marin, a Colombian photographer, will be the first SMArt artist to benefit of this residency. In his artwork, he is interested in the relation of people with their customs, territory, and cultural transformations due to globalization and environmental impact.


During his stay, Juan Pablo Marin would like to make a project about the daily life of three people from Göschenen. The idea is to work with people dedicated to activities related to the mountain and the conservation of the environment, representing their close relationship with territory. As he is used to, Juan Pablo Marin will certainly implement an interactive project: participants  have an active role in the writing of texts, the selection of pictures, and taking photos.



SMArt inaugurates its collection in the Valais art library

As part of the Festival Histoire et Cité, which takes place from 27 to 31 March 2019 in Sion, Lausanne and Geneva, SMArt is launching the introduction of a collection in the art library of the Valais media library in Sion. SMArt donates 12 photographs to the media library’s art collection, which allows everyone to borrow an artwork and admire it at home during 3 months. This series will then be enriched with the artistic works of future SMArt artists.


The collection will be unveiled on March 30, 2019 at Les Arsenaux in Sion. On this occasion, a photo by Alejandro Leon Cannock, illustrating the theme of the Festival « Water source of life, source of death », will be commented at 11:45 and 16:15.



Camila Rodrigo – Unsustainable topographies II - Lima

After her residency in Val Verzasca in Tessin, the Peruvian artist Camila Rodrigo presents her exhibition “Unsustainable topographies II” in Lima. Camila Rodrigo is moving away from the traditional representation of what we understand by landscape, and from this distance she reflects on man’s relationship with his environment and the « new landscape ». Through her photographs, video and installations made of stones and pictures, she wants to break with the stereotypes we have about the idea of landscape and natural space and show a landscape that is upset, attacked. This original exhibition is to discover at the Galeria El Ojo Ajeno in Lima from 12th March.



12th March – 6th April 2019

Monday-Friday 9:00 – 21:00

Saturday 9:00 – 16:00



12th March, 19:30



Wenhuan Shao: landscape photography as universal vehicle of emotions

Natural landscape, such as mountains and water, is a main theme in the artwork of the Chinese photographer Wenhuan Shao. Within SMArt programme, this artist and teacher at China Academy of Art intends to overpass the topic of global changes (climate change, consumption of ressources, etc.) to explore a deeper dimension of natural crisis. During his 3 month’s residency in Monthey, Wenhuan Shao will try to use landscape photography to transmit an emotional reaction to the spectators, in order to transcend cultural and geographical representations and create a common value of nature. For that, he will use special techniques that will permit him to bring changes to his photographs and figure them out as landscape paintings.



Exhibition « We are together » - M’hammed Kilito – Marrakech

M’Hammed Kilito spent 3 months in residence in Sierre, Valais, where he worked on the theme of migration. He chose to highlight « through a reversed process, the relationship between Swiss and migrants: What happens when fear gives way to generosity, mutual aid and humanism? ». Through 3 series of photographs, M’hammed Kilito’s work emphasizes the great richness that different cultures represent when there is the possibility of cultivating and transmitting them. This exhibition is to discover in Marrakech from 31 January 2019.



31 January – 28 February 2019

Everyday 10:00-19:00, except on Sunday



31 January 2019, 19:00

In presence oft he artist and the Swiss ambassador in Morocco


Workhops with ESAV students

7-10 January 2019
Discussion „ We are together“ with Mehdi Alioua & Rachid Badouli 

31 January, 18:00-19:30



Xiaoyi Chen at Three Shadows Photography Art Centre

«  The stranger … and while I blossomed all alone, the world slumbered. »


In a series of poetic and sensitive photographs, Xiaoyi Chen highlighted the erratic boulders, mysterious witnesses of the glacial past of the Rhone Valley.


To be discovered at Three Shadows Photography Art Centre until 6th January  2019.



"Shadow on us" to discover in Ulaanbaatar

Tamir Bayarsaikhan returned to Mongolia a few months ago after his residency in Bellwald in the Valais Alps. Thanks to the collaboration of Arts Council of Mongolia. His series of photographs « Shadow on us » will be presented in Ulaanbaatar from 9 to 23 November 2018.


An opportunity to rediscover, the look of an artist who not only made a long geographical journey, but also a deep inner journey and proposes a very moving project mixing beauty and tragedy.




Exhibition "Montagne, entre sagesse et fragilités"

The SMArt (Sustainable Mountain Art) program questions us through photography on the challenges facing the mountains today.


Since 2014, the look of photographers from elsewhere, who have been invited in residence to Switzerland for three months, has been focused on our environment and our society, with gentleness or revolt, to magnify, document, challenge or simply highlight the links that unite people with each other and with nature.


This collective exhibition allows us to discover, or rediscover, the points of view of
Juan Arias- Colombia
Tamir Bayarsaikhan – Mongolia
Lavonne Bosman – South Africa
Sharon Castellanos – Peru
Jorge Panchoaga – Colombia
Btihal Remli – Morocco
Jiehao Su – China
Lanqing Zhu, China.


An exhibition in partnership with the City of Sion.



Exhibition in La Grenette – Gallery of the City of Sion, Rue du Grand-Pont 24
From November 10 to December 23, 2018


Opening: Saturday, November 10, 6:00 pm
Guided tour: Saturday, November 10 at 8:00 p.m. on the occasion of La nuit des musées


Open: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 3pm to 6.30pm
Additional opening on Friday from 10am to 12pm



Testimony of Lavonne Bosman in the magazine L'Alpe

Lavonne Bosman tells her project on migration in the Swiss Alps in L’Alpe, the famous French magazine dedicated to the mountains.


Read the full article in L’Alpe 82 : Les Alpes vues d’ailleurs.



SMArt in partnership with TheWorkHub

Since 2017 SMArt has been partnering with TheWorkHub, a friendly and dynamic co-working space in Vevey. Two exhibitions are presented each year, allowing SMArt artists and their projects to be discovered by another audience.

After Alejandro Leon Cannock’s « Deterritorialization of the glacial landscape » and Juan Arias’ « The wolf at the door », we are pleased to present Lavonne Bosman’s « Light of Hope ». A new opportunity to discover her emotional portraits around the history of migration in the Swiss Alps.


Opening: 31th October from 18:00



Discover the ForAlps network !

SMArt is proud to be part of the ForAlps (Foreign immigration in the Alps) network. Thanks to Lavonne Bosman’s work on migration in the Swiss Alps, the programme can show the interest of linking art and science to advance the debate and the search for solutions on a complex, sensitive and emotional issue.



Camila Rodrigo - Cutting Subtleties - To discover in Val Verzasca

Thus far, Camila Rodrigo’s projects have focused on the transformation of the geographic landscape of Lima, mainly its cliffs and the abrupt changes in the tides of the ocean around them. During her stay in the Swiss Alps, the artist discovered other landscapes, in which the stones are also witnesses of profound changes.


« You can read the time from a stone. The territory’s constant changes, unceasing movements, erosion and wearing away are written in its layers…

A monumental, fiercely vibrating landscape, which reverberates strength. It prevails over the new necessities of its human inhabitants. It adapts itself, changes, persists…

Photographs realized with expired film and stone installations, reveal an altered territory that suggests the beginning of a new ecological era. Breaking an already settled imaginary to dig further beyond the first impressions, delving into the subtle tracks of a coexistence prone to be increasingly vulnerable.

If we place humanity inside the huge matrix of nature some certainties are undermined; new questionings emerge.

The echo resounds, urging us to take a step forwards and to penetrate… »

Camila Rodrigo




Exhibition at Verzasca Foto Festival, 6th-9th September (exhibition until 28th October 2018)

Opening : Friday 7th September, 18:30, Sonogno paese

Meeting with the artist : Friday 7th September, 20:30, Sonogno, Grotto Efra




Xiaoyi Chen - Exhibitions - Théâtre du Crochetan and Festival Images Vevey

The stranger … and while I blossomed all alone, the world slumbered


During her three-month residency, Xiaoyi Chen discovered erratic blocks during a walk in the forest. These large rock masses, some of which are the size of houses, have been transported by rivers of ice and placed in dominant positions in glacial valleys or scattered over hills and plains. They bear witness to the glacier degradation that we can still observe today.  Fascinated by the monumentality of these mysterious blocks, the photographer wishes to restore through her photography and videos the timeless power that they release.



Exhibition at Théâtre du Crochetan – Monthey
September 8 to December 2, 2018
Monday to Friday from 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 6pm + show nights

VERNISSAGE – September 14 – 6pm

An exhibition in partnership with Théâtre du Crochetan



Installation as part of the Festival Images Vevey – Place Scanavin
From 8 to 30 September 2018

OPENING DAY – September 8
Opening of exhibitions from 11.00 am
Official ceremony at 5:30 pm

An installation in partnership with Festival Images Vevey



First Light - Migration in the Swiss Alps - To discover in South Africa

Two years ago Lavonne Bosman spent three months in the Grisons mountains in Switzerland. There she took a magnificent series of photographs of yesterday’s migrants, the Walsers who had settled in the region for several centuries, and refugees who had recently arrived from countries at war.

Lavonne Bosman will soon be presenting her work in South Africa at the GUS Gallery University Stellenbosch. This new exhibition will present photographs taken in Switzerland and a previous series on AmaXhosa people and their migration from Transkei, also known as Wild Coast, to the city townships.

With her very human and sensitive work Lavonne Bosman helps us realize that, in the end, we are all migrants.



Discovery of new territories with Peruvian photographer Camila Rodrigo

From late June to early September Verzasca FOTO Festival will have the pleasure to welcome in residence the Peruvian artist Camila Rodrigo.


As a photographer Camila Rodrigo usually addresses the theme of territories in her home-city Lima. The three months residency in the Val Verzasca will provide her the change of environment and the discovery of a new culture necessary for a reflection and innovative artwork on a new geography.


In her artworks, Camila Rodrigo expresses visual situations related to the uses and abuses of man on nature, relying on sculpture, photography, Chemigrams and photocopy. Thus, her way of creation allows her to create new topographies.


Encountering new spaces in Switzerland will deepen her understanding of global warming from the point of view of a different territory facing specific challenges.



Exhibition - Shadow on us - Tamir Bayarsaikhan

Who stands in the sun, projects shadows: such is the thought that inhabited Tamir Bayarsaikhan in his peregrinations across the Valais. He laid his artist’s look on every trace of human presence visible in the landscape. Whether our actions are felt as appropriate or aberrant, nature reacts to them at every moment, inevitably. The images collected by the Mongolian photographer are sometimes breathtakingly beautiful, sublimely calm, sometimes agitated, troubled, witnesses of dramatic events. An exhibition similar to a Valaisan illustration of the famous « butterfly effect ».


An exhibition in partnership with the Festival Musikdorf Ernen


Varnishing: Saturday 7th July, 15.00, Ernen


Opening hours:

8th July to 16th September

Daily from 10.00 to 18.00, up to 20.00 on concert days


Event: Open Doors Day at the residence, Saturday 30th June, 15.00-18.00, Bellwald



From the Mongolian plains to the Valais mountains

The photographer Tamir Bayarsaikhan is invited by the « Kunstverein Oberwallis » to a meeting and discussion evening.


A great opportunity to get to know Mongolia better, a country that often makes us dream and to discover the visual universe of the artist.


Tamir Bayarsaikhan will also tell his first impressions of Valais and the project he is developing as part of his residency in Bellwald.


The discussion will be moderated by the curator Muriel Constantin-Pitteloud.


17th May, 20:00, Zeughaus Kultur, Brig Glis



Exhibition – We are together – M’hammed Kilito

In the framework of his residency M’hammed Kilito dealt with the theme of migration in Valais, through the visual sociology approach that characterizes his work. He questioned the political and social realities of migrants by producing three photographic series that weave narrative threads: the first focuses on the objects and memories brought back by migrants as well as on their homes or places of work; the second presents exchanges of knowledge or shared knowledge between migrants and Swiss residents; the third tells the daily life of migrants through the activities organized by the Intercultural Space of Sierre.



Wednesday 23rd May – 18 :30– Maxxx Project Space, Av. Max Huber 12, Sierre

With musical participation of Spyros Panyiotakis



24th May – 10th June 2018

Monday-Friday 17:00 – 19:00

Saturday-Sunday 14:00-17:00



24th May – 19h00, Maxxx Project Space, Sierre

Guided visit and meeting with M’hammed Kilito accompanied by Benoit Antille, curator of the exhibition, and Didier Joris, coordinator of language courses at the Cantonal Asylum Office



Human and nature at the centre of the world of Tamir Bayarsaikhan

Tamir Bayarsaikhan is a Mongolian photographer who tries to express delicate relationship between man and nature in his pictures. Real motion rythm, light, sync of various colours can be perceived in his photos in order to express realness; because he believes that art must be true. From his initial formation as a designer, Tamir Bayarsaikhan kept the rigor and sensitivity to aesthetics. But art of photography offers him the possibility to fix beauty of nature and share it with others. Travel is a major part of his life; he is able to open his world at every travel he makes. This will certainly help him to understand other cultures during his 3 months’ residency in Bellwald, as his wish is to work on the influence of climate change on migration issues in Switzerland within SMArt programme.



Sociological exploration of migration in Valais with M’hammed Kilito

During his 3 months’ residency in Sierre, the Moroccan artist M’hammed Kilito will have the opportunity to work on migration issue in Valais. Having already studied  this question in his country, in particular with the publishing of the book « Un si long chemin » in collaboration with the UNHCR, this theme is not a discovery for this photographer. Issued from the tradition of visual sociology, he uses the image as a research tool to better understand a given social reality. Using his background in political science, he would like to explore – during his stay in Valais – the reason of national policy of restrictive immigration in Switzerland and the logic of the growing fear towards foreigners. His work will permit to highlight by reverse process (fear / restrictive policies) this relationship between Swiss and migrants. This socio-photographical research will certainly find its place for the Rencontres Orient-Occident 2018 in Sierre, in the frame of which his exhibition will be presented in May.



Collective exhibition - Territories in motion – Lausanne

Exhibition «Territories in motion" – Looks from elsewhere on the challenges from here

In partnership with the Foundation for the Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the City of Lausanne is organizing a photographic exhibition at the Town Hall Forum from 27 February to 15 March 2018. Visitors will discover Lausanne’s sustainability commitments in the light of the photographic works of the SMArt program (Sustainable Moutain Art). Climate and energy, water, migration, agriculture and food, landscapes and urbanism, are so many « territories in motion » and as many challenges for the city as for the mountain.



Tuesday, February 27, 2018, at 18:30, in the presence of Natacha Litzistorf, Councilor in charge of Housing, Environment and Architecture of Lausanne city.



27 February – 15 March 2018

Monday-Saturday 10:00-18:00

Town Hall Forum, Place de la Palud, Lausanne



Beneath the surface: the Chinese photographer Xiaoyi Chen

In February, the Theater of Crochetan in Monthey will have the pleasure to welcome Xiaoyi Chen, a young and to the promising career Chinese photographer, for a three months’ residency. Ambitious, she already had the occasion to distinct herself with her abstract artwork in numerous collective and individual exhibitions around the world. Thanks to a combination of techniques (photography, printing, video,…) she explores beneath the surface of things by simplifying the content of her pictures to the maximum in order to make our intuition react. Within SMArt programme, she is interested in exploring the theme of climate change and the issue of temperature and the perception people have of it.



Exhibition – The wolf at the door – Juan Arias

A few months before starting his residency in Valais, as part of the SMART program, the Colombian photographer Juan Arias had spotted on the Internet an article of the local newspaper “Le Nouvelliste” which held all his attention: “A wolf killed in the Val d’Anniviers, victim of a poaching act.” Working on the representation systems and archetypes that underlie social relations, with a particular interest in the forms of violence that are played at this level, Juan Arias immediately understood, instinctively, the significance of this incident. After dealing with topics such as the myth of the « pink dolphin » in Colombia, he decided to focus his attention on that of the wolf in Valais, in a dive that would lead him to discover the tenacious and ferocious tensions that still divide today this canton.

In his exhibition, Juan Arias creates an extremely ambitious project which consists in proposing a « radiography » of the contemporary Valaisan society, revealing his fears, his antagonisms, his preoccupations, through an anthropological glance taking the wolf like red thread. His photographs work as a set, a kaleidoscope of images and projections that interact with each other, in order to create a plurality of meanings and interpretations: a Rorschach test of a new order, bringing out our intimate wolf from his lair.



21st  November 2017, 18:00, MAXXX Project Space, Sierre



22th November – 10th December 2017

Monday-Friday 17:00-19:00

Saturday-Sunday 14:00-17:00


Evening « «The wolf in the scientific discourse and the contemporary imagination»

Wednesday 29th November 2017, 19:00, MAXXX Project Space, Sierre​


Evening « The return of the wolf  in Valais: situation and challenges »

Tuesday 5th December 2017, 19:00, La Sacoche, Sierre



From then till now: a border story from Btihal Remli

The Moroccan photographer Bithal Remli, who was in residency last year in Sierre, presents her new exhibition in Marrakech called “From then till now”. This exhibition presents the two series « The Heroes of the Mountain » and « Country of Woman » to create an amazing course: two similar and radically different worlds. After her work on Swiss alpine agriculture in Valais – where she was confronted with a different reality from that she imagined – she returned to her native country in the Moroccan mountains to work on the strong importance of the work of women in traditional farming. This exhibition is an opportunity to confront these photos, these two worlds, so different and so similar. Two times of an intelligent photographic work at work, where one can discover a socio-political reflection that surfaces in its images and how Btihal Remli transforms it into photographic matter.



12th October 2017, 19h



13th to 19th November 2017

Monday to Saturday, 10h-19h



Jorge Panchoaga and the mysteries of Val Verzasca

“There are some realities lying under the surface of what we observe. Truths that lift up out of the blue, as a sea monster which rises to the surface and then disappears. Entering this unknown world is a way to me to tempt these monsters to emerge, it’s like building a bridge these creatures can get through to what is real and familiar to us. This beautiful space, where imagination and reality meet, is where love, tears and happiness exist. This is the place. This is where we live.”

This text of Nick Cave reflects the message Jorge Panchoaga has wanted to pass through his pictures: “Whoever visit the Verzasca Valley is exposed to all what nature and human being recount us. The story depends on who guides us, on what we find along the path—to imagine the future changes, to remember the past scenarios, to create a mirror between our fears and calm. “ His pictures were shown during the Verzasca Foto Festival in Sonogno, Tessin from 31st August to 3rd September 2017.



Sharon Castellanos presents her exhibition Symbiosis in Lima

During her exhibition « Symbiosis » in Lima, Sharon Castellanos presents 2 series of pictures representing the distance or the closeness we can have with nature. The black and white series gives the idea of the boarder that keeps us far from the mountains. The series on herbalists illustrates a tighter link with nature. Moreover, the pictures of the herbarium are presented as a « polyptic». So from the left side, people can see only the portraits and from the other side, only the plants with incorporated text, and with a frontal view the complete herbarium can be seen.

Sharon testimonies from the varnishing: “The answer of the visitors has been positive, there are a lot of people interested in the practice of the picking up the medicinal plants. There was even a visit by the director of the Museum of “Sacred, magic and medicinal plants in Cusco ». Last but not least, Alejandro Leòn Cannock, a former SMArt photographer, took part to the varnishing as well, sharing experiences with Sharon on their stay in Switzerland.



A Colombian wolf in Valais: the photographer Juan Arias

From September, Juan Arias will start his 3 months’ residency in Chateau Mercier in Sierre with the exploration of the wolf thematic. The coming back of this protected animal in the Valais mountains is not the taste of everyone. As an example, a wolf was found dead in the Val d’Anniviers in February, probably victim of an act of poaching. Moreover, several politicians made propositions these last years to restrict the legislation on their protection. The population will even be called to vote soon on this theme. Wolves are definitely a burning actuality in Valais!


Through his images, Juan Arias would like to show the importance of preserving and protecting wolves in nature. He also wants to link this highly cultural and symbolic animal with human migratory processes which have a lot in common with wolves migration. This original thematic will for sure interpolate the population in Valais on its link with this animal and the wild nature.



Jorge Panchoaga in Tessin with Verzasca Foto

Jorge Panchoaga, an anthropologist and photographer from Colombia, is currently welcomed in SMArt programme.  Through his pictures, he develops works related to issues of identity, memory, language and the relation between the human being and its environment. During the last years, Jorge Panchoaga has been interested in the historical relationship that we have established with nature, specifically the relationship we have built with water.


As usual, Jorge will stay 3 months in Switzerland. But this time, in a brand new place: Tessin. Indeed, SMArt programme starts a new residency in the Italian part of Switzerland (Tessin) with Verzasca Foto, which organise every year a photo festival in the Val Verzasca, a valley in the Tessin mountains.  Jorge Panchoaga will thus profit from his residency to explore the theme of water and its links with the daily and historical life of the inhabitants of the valley.


More information here:



Exhibition - Symbioses - Sharon Castellanos

Deeply touched by the narrow relationship between the inhabitants of Andes and nature, Sharon Castellanos explored the links which unite the inhabitants of Valais with their environment. During her stay in Bellwald, she discovered diverse forms of cohabitation – between distance and instrumentalization on one side, and closeness and communion on the other. The Peruvian photographer delivers a sensitive representation of these various symbioses – a representation which turns out to be a metaphor more than an objective reflection of the reality.



21th July 2017, 18:30, Alter Werkhof, Brig



22th July – 6th August 2017

Everday 15:00-19:00




From the Andes to the Alps: the dual vision of Sharon Castellanos

Sharon Castellanos, Peruvian photographer, is used to the magnificence of the mountains as she comes from Cusco in the Andes. Being in residency in Bellwald, she will also be confronted to a similar high mountainous valley; a situation which will certainly help her to understand this Swiss mountain region through daily rural life and the manifestation of the nature, her main themes of interest.

Within SMArt programme, she would like to point out important issues like melting of the glacier or Swiss people’s vision of the world, transfiguring the real facts into imagination. Indeed, she is willing to play with reality, alternating literal meaning of an image with the sense a picture can symbolize. With her work, Sharon Castellanos could offer a surprising illustration of the Valais between reality and fantasy…



Exhibition - The power of water - Hasan Shaaban

Hasan Shaaban, who was housed at the Théâtre du Crochetan for three months, focused his work on water and energy themes, with special emphasis on dams and production plants. Overcoming the difficulty of accessing the dams during the winter season, this 30-year-old Lebanese photographer visited Grande Dixence and Emosson. He was also able to enter the lair of the factories of Lavey, Bieudron and St-Leonard. Photoreporter in his country, great importance is given to the action in his work. The latter is perfectly illustrated in his photographs by the gestures of the workers busy with the maintenance of these enormous machines. Hasan Shaaban makes « The Power of Water » feel through these photos, but never reveals it…



27th April 2017, 19:00, La Grange à Vanay, Monthey



28th April – 7th May 2017

Monday-Friday 16:00-19:00

Saturday-Sunday 14:00-19:00



Fascinating mountains, stolen summits: exhibition with Laurence Piaget, Jiehao Su and local artists

“Fascinating mountains, stolen summits” is a cultural event organized as part of the 75th anniversary of the development company Edelweiss from Chalais. Its ambition is to weave, in an exploratory way, links between the visual arts and the theater. In particular, it will bring to light the stakes in landscape design, whether desired or imposed, from a tourist perspective. Laurence Piaget, a Swiss photographer, and Jiehao Su, a Chinese artist, exhibit their work with local artists.

To discover from 23rd March – 1st April in Kabaret, Chalais

More information here



Thursday 23rd March 19:30



24-25 March 17:00 – 21:00
26 March 15:00 – 19:00
31 March 17:00 – 21:00
1 April 11:00 – 15:00



SMArt programme presented at the Forum for sustainable development in Bern

On 31st January, SMArt was presented at the Forum for sustainable development, organised by the Federal Office for special development in Berne. Sarah Huber, project manager, explained the goals, achievements and perspectives of the projects. Laurence Piaget, photographer, testimonied of the importance of engagement that she involves in her artworks, which she was made visible by SMArt. Axel Roduit, cultural advisor for the Cultural Service in Valais, reminded the important link between culture and sustainability that give sense to the artistic projects of the photographers.

This Forum was also a good opportunity to create contacts with other organisations which will maybe bring to new projects or residencies within SMArt programme…! And last but not least, this Forum gave us ideas and make us dream with projects like cultural politics developed in Nates with Patrick Gyger as well as smaller initiatives like Musikdorf Ernen with Francesco Walter or Verzasca Foto Festival in Ticino that reminds the many ways to link and bring alive sustainable development and culture. This Forum was definitely good for the mind!

Best of the interventions of the day

Moments of the afternoon session



Hasan Shaaban: a photojournalist’s look on water resource and energy

The first artist arriving in Switzerland in 2017 in SMArt programme is Hasan Shaaban, a Lebanese photojournalist. He defines himself as an activist, who uses his photojournalism career to show the truth. With his action pictures, he sheds light on all issues related to environment, especially the garbage crisis in Lebanon that lasts for almost two years now. When Hasan Shaaban reported pictures of the garbage polluting the natural underground water reserves, he had the idea of showing how other countries are trying to benefit from water for uses such as renewable energy. During his 3 months residency in Monthey, he wants to work on this theme in order to present constructive solutions to water management which could be useful in Lebanon where there are great water resources available.



Exhibition of Jiehao Su's artwork at the theater of Valere

During two months, part of the exhibition of Jiehao Su « The book of images » is shown in the lobby of the theater of Valère in Sion. This small exhibition is a wink to the work of Jiehao Su, as he realized some pictures in this place (picture of the seats for example) last year.


To discover during the shows at the theater. More information here.



Exhibition - Mountain heroes - Btihal Remli

Before starting her residence, Btihal Remli wanted to work on food production; she was particularly interested in cheese making and the effects of globalization and climate change on this traditional economy. The Moroccan photographer imagined to document the remains of a vernacular activity in the Alps. But once there, she was confronted with a different reality, far from the idealized images portrayed in marketing and tourism. This tension between a vernacular that became a brand and the contemporaneity of life and production patterns in the mountain is the central theme of her work.


Coming in Valais to work there on the alpine economy, Btihal Remli was exposed to a difficult challenge: to be able to capture in a short time some aspects of a complex reality, charged of sometimes conflicting representations that were accumulated through the ages. In the end, she delivers a sensitive and subtle work, which highlights the new dynamics at play in the mountains, between tradition and modernity.



2nd November 2016, 17:30, MAXXX Project Space, Sierre


Guided visit and meeting with the artist

11th November 2016, 18:00



Monday-Friday 17:00-19:00

Saturday-Sunday 14:00-17:00



Exhibition - Glacier of the refugees - Laurence Piaget - Argentière

Exhibition “Glacier of the refugees”

Breathtaking vision which collide: A « somewher else »devastated by a cataclysm, a refugee camp strewn with torn white tents sheltering imaginary survivors, agricultural covers that downwind turn into articulated ghosts, packaged gigantic artistic work sheets united by Christo, or a laminated dead wrapped in shrouds clear. “Glacier of the refugees” is an exhibition part of the project “Agony of a glacier” which is an ongoing photographic project on the Rhone glacier to Gletsch in the Canton of Valais in Switzerland.

Laurence Piaget presents her exhibition at the Festival of images “Shoot!” in the Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Valley. To see from 8th  October to 2nd November at the Maison de Village in Argentière.



8th October, 12:30, Maison de Village, Argentière



From 9th to 15th October: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 09 :30-12 :00, 14 :00-18 :00

From 18th to 21st October: from Tuesday to Friday, 09:30-12:00

From 25th October: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 09:30-12:00, 14:00-18:00

Weekly closure of the Maison de Village: Sunday, Monday, Thursday

Exceptional closure: Saturday 22nd October


More information



Exhibition - Licht der Hoffnung - Migration in der bündner Bergwelt – Lavonne Bosman - Coire

Lavonne Bosman dedicated his project to the daily reality of village populations of Medergen and Litzirüti (Grisons) with, in historical backdrop, the migration of the Walser. In this context, she also studied how to build the relationship with migrants today through the specific case of the transit centre that opened in Litzirüti in 2015. Her exhibition will show the results of this exploration work.



Friday 7th October 2016 at 19.00, Stadtgalerie Coire, Grisons



8th-21st October 2016

Wednesday-Thursday: 14:00-17:00

Friday: 14:00-18:00

Saturday: 14:00-16:00




Open doors' day of the residency AIR Villekulla with Lavonne Bosman

Discover the work of Lavonne Bosman, the South African photographer, in residency in the Grisons, during the open doors’ day of AIR Villekulla in Medergen  on the 17th September.


The varnishing of the exhibition will take place on Friday 7th October 2016, 19:00 in the Town Gallery in Chur.



Laurence Piaget takes part to the MATZA Aletsch project

Half way between art and scientific exploration, MATZA confronts for the second times artists and researchers in order to explore and reflect upon issues connecting land, the collective use of natural resources and democracy. After three weeks in Mojave desert (MATZA Amboy) and an exhibition launched the 5th July in the US, the first edition of MATZA Aletsch starts in September on Aletsch glacier. A varnishing at the Konkoria hut is planned on the 17th September 2016, at 2850 m. high! This will be the opportunity to discover the work of Laurence Piaget and other artists who will stay for 2 weeks’ residency in the hut. More information here



Lanqing Zhu and Jiehao Su in a collective exhibition in Monthey

From the 4th September to 22nd October, discover at the Theater of the Crochetan in Monthey, the exhibition of the two Chinese artists who were each in residency for 3 months with SMArt, in spring 2016. Jiehao Su, who stayed in Bellwald, was inspired from the poet Maria Rilke, who touches him deeply, and used this to explore and touch with delicacy the invisible soul of the place with his camera. Lanqing Zhu, who stayed in Monthey, makes us discover the “Melancholic Mountains”, with delicacy and elegance.

More information on the exhibition



Btihal Remli, an artist from Morocco, between Orient and Occident

Btihal Remli is a young woman who grew up in Germany to Moroccan parents, building up her identity between Oriental and Occidental cultures. This duality emerges from her photographs of Mosques, veiled women and people praying, since she is interested in spaces, especially more in immaterial spaces than physical ones. During her residency in Sierre (from August to October), her “double cultural gaze” will help to confront us on our vision of the challenge of the food supply in the mountains of Valais. Indeed, in SMArt program, she wishes to engage a reflection on the contrast between the difficult reality of small producers of the Swiss mountains and the idealistic image that is used to sell typical products like cheese by the big companies.

Btihal Remli's selection



SMArt in China with Lanqing Zhu and Jiehao Su

The Chinese photographers who have been welcomed in Switzerland in the last months are showing their artworks at the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Beijing until 13th August 2016.


Both Lanqing Zhu and Jiehao Su have taken the opportunity of this new exhibition to enrich the story they are telling us about the Alps.


Lanqing Zhu shows collected lost post cards sold at flea markets, booklets depicturing explorers and alpinists, complicated and information rich maps. She mixes them with her own photography works to create a non-linear voyage in the time. This journey to the mountains and their peaks starts with an old Alps postcard, it is guided by old maps and people holding telescopes, while cable cars and ski boards are our transport. The artist travels throughout past and present, imagination and reality, but not satisfied enough of being a guided one or a tourist, she modifies and creates her own path to the tops, proving yet again mountains are natural subjects of humans’endless imagination and desire of conquer.


Jiehao Su completes his book of images, inspired by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, with a video about birds, a sound recording in a closed space as well as several email letters combined with images. These letters are genuine correspondences between him Sarah at SMArt and, with their linearity in time and their special form consisting of dialogues; they build a new intertextual relationship among with Su’s creations and Rilke’s texts. With this, Jiehao Su completes his commemoration and response to the poet.

Exhibition at Three Shadows Photography Art Center, Beijing, July-August 2016



A look on migration with South African photographer Lavonne Bosman

This summer, SMArt inaugurates a new residency in the Grisons. Indeed, our new cultural partner, Air Villekula, proposes an original residency, which takes place in a tiny traditional alpine house in the Grisons mountains. This is the place where Lavonne Bosman, a South African photographer, will spend 3 months (from August to October) and lay down her glance on the theme of migration. This is a central theme of reflexion in Lavonne’s work, as she realised two projects on amaXhosa people in the last years, called “Ilungile, it is good” and  “Madiba’s people”. In South Africa, these people had to live in squatter camps near cities for generations, when they lost their own land in the rural homelands in Eastern Cape. With her photographies on migration, Lavonne Bosman wants to increase awareness on these people to whom it miss a voice to talk about their situation.



1st June 2016 - Cultural appetizer

Cultural appetizer

The exhibition « The melancholic mountain » of the Chinese photographer Lanqing Zhu can be discovered at a cultural appetizer reconciling art and lifestyle. The program for this public event, organized in collaboration with Monthey Tourism and Monthey’roir: a guided tour with the curator of the exhibition, Julia Hountou, followed by a tasting of local products and multicultural dishes.


Cultural appetizer – Guided tour and tasting of local products

Wednesday 1st June 2016 – 18.00-20.00 – Château de Monthey



Exhibition - Les montagnes mélancoliques - Lanqing Zhu - Monthey

The Chinese artist Langing Zhu arrived in Switzerland in March and is welcomed in Monthey by the Crochetan Theatre. After a two months immersion in the Alps her very personal and sensitive artwork – Les montagnes mélancoliques – is to be discovered from 21th Mai to 3th June 2016.

Lanqing Zhu addresses the majestic nature with delicacy and reflection. Her vaporous pictures exhale a poetic atmosphere; mounts seem to float, untied from the ground, while the photographer plays on the visible and the invisible. Her atmospheres can sometimes remind the Chinese landscapes. Lanqing Zhu mixes her aesthetic search with social and environmental concerns through diverse mountain infrastructures (cable cars, electric poles, snow blowers) that generate debate.


Friday 20th May at 18.30, Château de Monthey (Rue du Château 7, salle d’exposition du 1er étage)

Opening hours

21th May – 3th June 2016

Monday to Saturday / 16.00-19.00

Wednesday 1st June / 18.00-20.00 : Guided visit with the curator and tasting of local products



Exhibition – “The book of images” – Jiehao Su – Galerie zur Schützenlaube, Visp

Discover the valaisan „Book of images“of the Chinese photographer Jiehao Su, who was welcomed by the association for a three-month stay, as part of SMArt programme. Jiehao Su’s documentary as well as artistic process keeps with the Chinese tradition. During his stay in Valais, he was looking for the most expressive designs, the most appropriate perspectives, and the right light to capture  the invisible soul of the region with his camera. Details from nature, everyday situations and symbols of the Valais history and culture form a kind of overall picture, which is able to show the spirit of the Valais.


Wednesday 18th May 2016 at 18.30, Galerie zur Schützenlaube, Ecke Schützenhausgasse-Stapfengasse, Visp

Opening hours

19th – 29th May 2016
Wednesday / Thursday/ Friday: 16.00 – 19.00
Saturday/ Sunday: 14.00 – 18.00

20th May - 18.30 - Tour of the exhibition with the artist and the curator with music of the Ensemble Tétraflûtes

Consisting of four valaisan musicians, the Ensemble Tétraflûtes developed a new musical program “Vibrations valaisannes”. It is a trilogy in which the archaic popular valaisan soundscape resonates with contemporary music. With the musicians Eliane Williner, Tanjia Muller, Rosalia Agadjanian, Eliane Locher. More information:

14th May – 15.00-18.00 – Open Day of the association in Bellwald

Discover photographic works of Jiehao Su and meet the artist.



Exhibition En terrain sensible - Extension at HES-SO, Sierre - 28th April – 10th September 2016

Launched in 2014 by the Foundation for sustainable development in mountain regions (FDDM), the SMArt programme (Sustainable Mountain Art) seeks to raise awareness of the challenges of the mountains through art and artists.
The original works of seven photographers-artists, welcomed in residency in Valais or from the region, were brought together for the first time at the Médiathèque Valais – Martigny this spring.
These looks linger over the mountains that surround us, reveal vulnerable territories, despite a first impression of strength. Photographic explorations are taking shape and, in different styles, tell the journey of water, the melting of glaciers, the still wild landscapes or pastures transformed into resorts.
The Médiathèque Valais-Martigny points these aesthetical approaches of short memories with artistic or documentary photos.
A multiplication of perspectives that lead us into sensitive terrain.


An exhibition to discover, or rediscover, in the premises of HES-SO Valais Wallis in Sierre (Rue de la Plaine 2), from 28th April to 10th September 2016.
Free access: Monday to Friday 8h00 – 19h00, Saturday 08h00-17h00.
Launched as part of the EnergyForum 28th April 2016 at 19H30
Finishing at the symposium “Château d’eau”, 9th and 10th September 2016



Film "Les Liberterres" as part of the exhibition En terrain sensible

A cultural evening is proposed in the frame of the exhibition En terrain sensible:


Screening of the film « Les Liberterres » from P-J Vranken et J-C Lamy

Monday 4th April 2016 19:30, Médiathèque Martigny


This documentary film, presented by FDDM as sidelines of the Festival du Film Vert, follows the life of 4 farmers who have refused conventional agriculture and have chosen to practice alternative agricultural methods.


A guided visit of the exhibition En terrain sensible takes place at 18:00 before the film.




Lanqing Zhu and Jiehao Su, two young Chinese artists for SMArt's springtime

They could be brother and sister, or maybe fake twins, travelling to Switzerland to discover a new country and photograph the landscape. But far from being tourists, these two artists will certainly bring to SMArt an original and personal point of view on the mountain challenges in Valais. Indeed, SMArt is proud to welcome at the same time two young but talented Chinese artists from March to May 2016. Lanqing Zhu, a 25 years’ old young woman, will be welcomed at the residency of Le Crochetan in Monthey. She will certainly work on the link between people and mountains, probably by observing tourism culture in Valais. On his side, Jiehao Su, a 28 years’ old young man, will stay at the artist residency in Bellwald. He will focus his attention on exploring different dimensions of the mountainous areas: the fragile and the steady, the artificial and the natural, the conflictual and the harmonious.



Public conference on migration by Jérémie Guélat as part of the exhibition En terrain sensible

The exhibition « En terrain sensible. Regards d’artistes sur la montagne” wants to sensitize visitors, through photography, to the challenges of sustainable development. Climate changes, in the heart of this questioning, cause resource shortages, a general water crisis, natural disasters and other irreversible environmental degradations. They are also the source of some conflict and population displacement.


This last point will be presented by Jeremie Guélat, PhD student at the University of Neuchâtel and specialist in migration issue, during a public conference.


Monday 7th March at the Médiathèque Valais Martigny.


18:00 Guided visit of the exhibition


19:30 Conference


More information here



Collective exhibition – En terrain sensible - Regards d'artistes sur la montagne - Martigny

For the first time, the works of seven artists photographers produced under SMArt programme are gathered at the Médiathèque Valais Martigny and take us « on sensitive land”. The artists in residence in Valais – or from the region – express, with their images, the major challenges of sustainable development. Their looks linger over the mountains that surround us and then reveal vulnerable areas, despite a first impression of strength. Photographic explorations are taking shape and, in different styles, tell the journey of water, the melting of glaciers, the still wild landscapes or pastures transformed into resorts. The Médiathèque Valais complete these aesthetic approaches with brief audiovisual memories, archive movies and old photographs, which remind us of the frozen lakes, the harvesting of rye, the seasonal migration or the song of a bisse.


Thursday 4th February 2016 at 18h, Médiathèque Valais Martigny


5th February – 24th April 2016
Every day 13h – 18h


7th March – Conference about climatic migration with Jérémie Guélat More information

4th April – Movie night with the film « Les Liberterres » (France, 2015)



SMArt at Pico Festival in the Azores

During the whole month of January 2016, MiratecArts presents the second edition of MONTANHA PICO FESTIVAL, the only event in Portugal of its kind. Mountain Pico Festival is not just a film festival and it is not just an art festival, it is also a celebration of everything that has to do with mountain culture and its issues, seen through the eyes of artists. SMArt participates to the festival with two exhibitions. Laurence Piaget “Agony of a Glacier” shows an exhibition at the Gare Marítima da Madalena, the entrance port to the island and the busiest place with daily boats arriving from neighbouring islands. Maralgua Badarch with her artwork “Mountain Myth” has her exhibition in the beautiful Pico Museum in the village of Lajes.




Autumnal events: photo competitions and exhibitions all around the world

Niels Ackermann, a Swiss photographer who visited Peru with SMArt programme in 2014 collected several successes with his talented pictures. In October 2015, at the international conference “Mountains of our future” in Perth, Scotland, Niels Ackerman won the prize “Mountain Stories” – with his photograph series ‘Waiting for the flood’. In December 2015, another picture “The guardian of Palcacocha” allowed him to get the first place of another photo competition at the Global Landscape Forum in Paris.
Two exhibitions also took place this autumn in Mongolia and in Switzerland. In November, Maralgua Badarch showed the exhibition “Mountain Myth” in the wonderful landscapes of Mongolia… outside, in the nature,  surrounded with trees and snow! “Agony of a glacier” – Laurence Piaget’s artwork on the Rhone Glacier – was then shown in 3 high schools in Switzerland, where students debated on climate change with classes from Niger or Uganda, in parallel of the exhibition.
SMArt programme makes connection all around the world on climate and water themes and show will go on!

Varnishing of Mountain Myth in Mongolia



Exhibition – Agony of a glacier – Laurence Piaget - Paris

Laurence Piaget presents his exhibition « Agony of a glacier » at the Swiss Embassy in Paris from November 19th 2015 to January 8th 2016. His photographs depict the Rhone glacier covered with tarps to slow its melting. These tarps stimulate the imaginary with different interpretations, where stunning visions collide: a landscape out of this world, devastated by a cataclysm, a refugee camp dotted with torn white tents sheltering imaginary survivors, agricultural covers reshaped into articulated ghosts by the withering wind, a gigantic work of art wrapped in sheets united by Christo, or even layers of death wrapped in clear shrouds


Wednesday 18th November 2015 at 19h, Swiss Embassy, Paris


19th November 2015 – 8th January 2016, Swiss Embassy, Paris
Mon-Fri 9h-12h




Deterritorialization of the glacier landscape

The photographer and philosopher Alejandro León Cannock – welcomed in residency by the Foundation Château Mercier – explores a fundamental problem of the Swiss Alps: the melting of the glaciers. He offers an artwork consisting of photographs, collages and installations that «move» the components of the glacier landscape (stone, water, ice), expressing its physical destruction and its symbolic deconstruction process.


Thursday 3rd December 2015 at 17h30, Sierre, MAXXX Project Space


4th – 13th December 2015

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 17h – 19h
Saturday, Sunday 14h – 17h




Since his arrival in Switzerland, Alejandro León Cannock has been working on two essential elements of the landscape in Valais: the «bisses» (traditional irrigation channels) and glaciers. The Peruvian artist wants to develop an artwork on the theme of water exploring different faces of this element with a thoughtful artistic approach. With his camera, he is working on the demarcation lines between ice and rock on the glacier; he is playing with the differences of material and shapes in order to show the phenomenon of melting of the glaciers, and this maybe even with a live experience during his exhibition! Some guards of «bisses» will also help him to understand the role of these traditional irrigation channels by taking pictures of their daily work. Alejandro will then confront their visions with his own representation of this special use of water in Valais. Still a lot of work until his exhibition planned in December in Sierre!

The first photos of Alejandro León Cannock




Climate changes, crossing glances of art and science

Beginning of December, the international conference on the climate COP21 will be held in Paris. The FDDM takes the opportunity of this particular moment in the climate agenda to organize an evening of reflection and exchanges with exciting speakers.
SMArt programme wants to raise awareness on the challenges of  mountains through art. But can art really be a stimulus for the community? Mathieu Menghini brings us some answers. Alejandro León Cannock shows us through his artwork the evolution of the glacier landscape under the pressure of a rapid climate change. Behind this creative and subjective work are scientific facts that reminds Martin Beniston. Switzerland is committed worldwide to ensure a future of quality for people living in mountain regions, Dominique Favre will show us how, concretely, art and science underlie this action.

Special evening

Thursday 10th December 2015, Sierre




Exhibitions in Rwanda and Peru

Summer was not holidays for everybody in SMArt programme! Four exhibitions have taken place in July and August in Peru and Rwanda. Ladies first, Luana Letts presented her photos of the series «Constant transformation» produced during her stay in Switzerland in Lima, main city of Peru and Huaraz, a city in the mountains, close to glaciers.


Then Cyril Ndegeya, showed the exhibition «The hidden face of water» in two different places in Kigali. Thus, the reflexion made by these artists in Switzerland on the challenges of climate change and water management is well exported in their countries and can sensitize people around the world on these themes. The objective of SMart is achieved!

SMArt exhibitions' in Rwanda, Peru and Tadjikistan




Reframe the landscape, reframe the look

35 years old, Peruvian, teacher of philosophy that dedicated his research to the aesthetic of existence for several years before becoming a graduated photographer: here is the very short portrait of Alejandro Leon Cannock, our new SMArt artist!


He will be welcomed in the residency of Villa Ruffieux in Sierre from September to December 2015. During his stay in Switzerland, he will certainly work on diptychs, 2 photos that will permit him to cross the look of local people on their territory with his vision on the indigenous inhabitants. His approach promises beautiful cultural meetings and exchanges!

Pieces of artwork of Alejandro León Cannock




After a first successful testing year, it’s a great pleasure to announce that SMArt continues for a 4 years step! In the future programme: new artists from Peru, Mongolia and Switzerland, new residences in Switzerland besides the 3 current in Valais. The selection of the next photographer is done, information follow very soon!





Discover the Valais mountain seen by Maralgua Badarch, Mongolian photographer in residence in Bellwald in the SMArt program.

SMArt also have the pleasure to welcome on this occasion, and in a yurt, a photo exhibition of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC: Aaruul UND JUSTISTALER Mongolia and Switzerland in pictures.



Tuesday, May 12 at 17:30 Gamsen / Landmauer / Alte Suste



From 13 to 31 May 2015
Wednesday – Saturday – Sunday 14h-18h
Friday 16h-19h




Result of the work of Cyril Ndegeya and Fabrice Erba in SMArt project, the exhibition THE HIDDEN SIDE OF WATER proposes to explore the water cycle in Valais, from the glacier to the lake.


19 April – 1 May 2015

Varnishing – 18 April 2015 – 17h


Grange à Vanay

Avenue du Crochetan 42, 1870 Monthey (CH)

Tuesday – Sunday

Varnishing of the exhibition «The hidden side of water» in Monthey - Cyril Ndegeya and Fabrice Erba




SMArt project continues with the arrival of Maralgua Badarch, a Mongolian artist. This 28 years old young woman has a Master in Film Directory & Script Writing and has already had a rich experience in this matter. Her visual experience in film making gives her a dramatic approach in her photographical artwork. She will stay 3 months in the residency of Artbellwald in Bellwald (Valais, Switzerland).

Pieces of artwork of Maralgua Badarch




Cyril Ndegeya, a Rwandan photojournalist, arrived in Monthey (Valais, Switzerland) last week. His residency at the Crochetan Theatre will last 3 months and his work will focus on the theme of water. With his artwork, he wants to reveal similarities between Rwanda and Switzerland, as both countries are mountainous regions that can learn from each other about global change impacts.

Pieces of artwork of Cyril Ndegeya




After two months of work in their host countries, Luana Letts and Niels Ackermann have presented their work at COP20 in Lima and during an exhibition in Sierre at MAXXX Project Space.

Two galleries showing the work of each artist are now available in the section «ARTISTS».

Pieces of the artworks of Luana and Niels




Resulting of Luana Letts’s wanderings in Valais, the exhibition CONSTANT TRANSFORMATION shows us the transformations of our landscape and the challenges we are facing today, between conservation and development.

During her residency in Villa Ruffieux, Luana Letts chose to work on the themes of water, natural risks and property speculation which so profoundly modified our alpine landscape.


By visiting the exhibition at MAXXX, you will discover a series of works gathered in a chain of interconnected realities.


A monumental work presents a mosaic of images conceived as an inventory of the architecture of type « chalet », mass-produced in our touristic resorts.


The exhibition shows then series of photos on which Luana Letts intervenes by practising cuttings which bring a critical view. The glacier of Moiry, confronted as the others with a worrisome phenomenon of melting, disappears from the photography. Avalanche barriers and dams take strange sculptural forms.


Other series finally, wonder about the links between nature and culture, as these rusty bolts hidden on a ground covered with dead leaves which we can discover as a surprise when looking closely at the picture.


27 November – 7 December 2014

Varnishing – 27 November – 17.30

Guided visit – 4 December  – 18.00


MAXXX – Project Space 

Max 12 – 3960 Sierre (CH)

Tuesday – Friday 16.00 / 19.00

Saturday – Sunday 14.00 / 17.00

and the Facebook’s page 





SMArt is present at the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP20). An exhibition, organized by the Centro dela Imagen, presents images of Swiss photographer Niels Ackermann and Peruvian visual artist Luana Letts. The exhibition is presented as part of the Voices for Climate, a venue of COP20.

In his work Waiting for the flood, Niels Ackermann addressed the threat an overflow of Lake Palcacocha represent to the city of Huaraz. The lake receives its water from an adjacent glacier. Because of global warming the volume of Placacocha has increased, seriously increasing the risk of an overflow that might generate an avalanche that could wipe out Huaraz. Niels Ackermann travelled in and around Huaraz, spent time with the guards who monitor the level of the lake and met with authorities and people to know the real risk posed by Placacocha, what is being done and what the people of Huaraz think about this present danger. In his work, we see how the city lacks an emergency plan in case of an overflow of Palcacocha and remains indolent to the threat, as authorities prefer temporary solutions instead of seeking for a permanent way to solve the problem.


On the other hand, Luana Letts visited Sierre in Switzerland and met with specialists in the challenges of mountain regions. Her work, Constant transformation, addresses the chain of transformations of the Swiss Alps that spring out of the tourism driven construction of holiday chalets. This has all kinds of consequences, from the use of natural resources to the transformation of the landscape, building security infrastructure, water management, etc. From a metaphorical perspective, Letts let us see how the beautiful landscape seen as a tourist attraction is transformed.


2 – 12 December 2014

10:00 am – 10:00 pm

Varnishing 7 December 2014 – 8.00 pm


Voices for Climate, zona vivero, Jockey Club del Perú


Free entry




Luana Letts arrived in Sierre (Valais, Switzerland) in mid-October and Niels Ackermann in Huaraz (Peru) almost at the same time. With the arrival of these first two artists, SMArt is now truly underway.

Luana Letts is a Peruvian photographer living in Lima. Motivated by the environmental situation in her country – Peru faces severe environmental problems linked to climate change, water distribution, waste management and mass migration – she has been developing her work around the transformation of the landscape, as well as the different uses people make of the land and their integration strategies.
During her residency she has chosen to work on natural risks and water. Her artwork will be shown at the Maxxx art gallery in Sierre from 27 November to 7 December 2014.


Niels Ackermann is a Swiss photographer with a background in photojournalism and political sciences. In his personal projects he likes to focus on small, delimited communities. He spends as much time as possible in the same location, developing an intimate connection with the people he photographs, learning their language, culture and experiencing their daily life.


For SMArt Niels Ackermann has chosen to work in the region of Huaraz. This city, which is as large as Lausanne, is threatened by huge glacial lakes formed by the melting Andean glaciers. In the past few decades, more than 20,000 people have already died in this region because of deadly landslides. Nonetheless, people continue to build there. By living in the city, Niels Ackermann will try to understand how the people of Huaraz live under this constant threat.


A joint exhibition of the work of Luana Letts and Niels Ackermann will also be held at COP20, the international conference on climate change, in Lima in December 2014.

Niels Ackermann's first photos

Luana Letts

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