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Stranger in the Village | ed. Céline Eidenbenz and Sarah Mühlebach | 2024

A French-language edition that uses James Baldwin’s pivotal essay as a starting point for artistic analysis of racism in Switzerland.

James Baldwin (1924–87) penned his famous essay “Stranger in the Village” in the early 1950s during a stay in the Swiss Alpine village of Loèches-les-Bains. Decades later, it is the starting point for an examination of racism in Switzerland, particularly in the art and culture industries.

Stranger in the Village features works by international contemporary artists—including Igshaan Adams, Kader Attia, Omar Ba, James Bantone, Marlene Dumas, Melanie Grauer, Jonathan Horowitz, Sasha Huber, Pierre Koralnik, Glenn Ligon, Martine Syms, and others—that react to Baldwin’s literary-political treatise. Essays contributed by distinguished authors supplement the artistic debate and highlight the consequences of the prevailing structural racism.

This multilingual, French–German book is an invitation to break taboos. It holds a mirror up to us, raising questions that concern us all, and reveals the topicality of everyday racism to every one of us through the artwork it presents.