Zürich Meets London is an amazing opportunity to encounter the food, culture and history of one of Switzerland's major cities and celebrate the bonds that tie both London and Zurich together. The festival is also a nod to the brilliant madness of Dadaism, as 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the arts movement's inception in Zurich.
The festival is jam-packed with events on throughout London including a Dada Gala Dinner, A Short Film Competition, club nights and art shows. The festival's hub is at Borough Market, make sure to sample the vegan delights of Tibits street food, Stoll Kaffe Coffee and of course some Swiss chocolate too!
We caught up with festival Project Manager Yves Bisang on the magic of Zurich.
Why is Zurich so amazing? What’s the main reason to go to Zurich?
The main reason to go to Zurich? I think it’s the lake [Lake Zurich].
Ahh, yes it’s really beautiful.
I think many people don’t even know that Zurich has a lake. But it’s the soul of the city. There is also a really nice medieval old town and kinda trendy neighbourhoods and everything.
But at least from now on it’s getting a bit warmer so everybody that lives in Zurich is just around the lake as much as they can when they’re not working. The lake is really Zurich’s biggest asset. You can swim in the river, you can swim in the lake, you can even drink from it, it has a reservoir. It has a soul so for everybody that lives in Zurich, the main thing about Zurich is the water. That’s what I think.
Would you say there are any similarities between Zurich and London?
There are many similarities in business, London is a banking hub, Zurich is a banking hub. People from Zurich love London, they spend many weekends in London shopping maybe it’s the other way around or not exactly the same, not yet!
But with Zurich it’s sort of the feeling that you’re not the capital [that privilege is reserved for the city of Bern] but we think we are the capital. When trends are happening in Switzerland most of the time they start in Zurich. It’s a sort of international flair we share with London, but on a smaller scale than London.
Last question, what do you think is Zurich’s biggest cultural export?
Cultural export? You mean besides the cheese fondue and the yodelling? [laughs]
Erm, cultural export? What do we have? Hmm, difficult question! [pauses] I can’t really say. Maybe the Swiss Army Knife, but it’s not really a cultural export!
It’s really useful though!
It’s useful, but it’s not a cultural asset. I’m not really sure about the question. Like what did you have in mind?
Maybe Dadaism, or…
…yeah Dada is not anymore that lively, it was definitely 100 years ago. It was quite the cultural export.
Otherwise we have smaller and smaller things. The Bircher muesli that’s a nice export! Did you know that Bircher muesli is from Zurich?
It was a doctor that had his clinic in Zurich and he invented it about 100 years ago and now Bircher muesli is all over the world. So I think this is kind of our main or biggest cultural, also culinary export that we have.
When: 17th-21st May
Where: All over London