Monday, December 4th, 2017, 7pm

From Calvin to Calvinland – A Political and Artistic Investigation of Geneva’s subconscious

Dominique Ziegler with the participation of Olivier Lawrence

HEAD – GenèveBoulevard Helvétique 9, 1205 Geneva, CCC seminar room 27, 2nd floor

“A people without the knowledge of their history is like a tree without its roots” said Marcus Garvey, the Rasta prophet. Bob Marley and Burning Spear, to mention only the most famous Jamaican artists, dug into their past to reach the source of their African origins. The rich history of the Canton of Geneva, which has seen Julius Cesar, Rousseau, Dunant, Lenin, the premises of the French Revolution, the Sociétés des Nations, etc. is hardly put forward by the present politico-cultural authorities. Apart from some episodic celebrations in 2009, the tutelary figure of Calvin seems to be neglected or ignored by the majority of the people of Geneva. However, without Calvin, Geneva would certainly have disappeared or would have become a Savoyarde or Bernese borough. Calvin was the inventor of a hitherto unparalleled form of theocracy. His peculiar vision of the relationship between Man and God ; of the non-remission of sins ; of the relationship between the individual and the collectivity ; his organization of society, foreshadowed attempts at distant (even sometimes atheist !) political systems in the 21st century and the creation of the new man! Calvin’s relationship to education, writing, moral values, public freedom, women, economy, deserves to be examined further because we still rely on it today, for better or worse.

How to take hold of these crucial questions through profane investigations and theater?