AG Creation – Artists with a refugee background

The AG (working group) »Artists with a refugee background« was founded in 2018 at the HKB (Bern University of the Arts) following the example of similar projects at various Swiss universities of applied sciences and universities. The AG regards the exchange with and integration of refugees living in Switzerland as both an opportunity and an obligation for our society. Following the organization of several social events and exchange meetings with interested refugees and students* of the HKB, the AG was able to record its first concrete successes in the spring semester of 2019. Two artists who are refugees are currently visiting individual modules in various departments of the HKB in a first test run of the project.

Goals of the AG
    • Development of a network between non-refugee and refugee artists, enabling intercultural exchange.
    • Supporting refugee artists to gain access to university studies
  • Raising awareness among students and other university members for the topic, its relevance, and its potential.
    • Organising another test run with 2-4 students in autumn semester 2019/20
    • Establishing exchanges with various external organisations active in the field of asylum and integration in order to expand the network of artists with and without a refugee background.
    • Developing a concept for a concrete form of support for refugee artists on the basis of an exchange with various representatives* (representatives* of the university, students* with and without a refugee background, professional artists).
    • Founding an association
  • Setting up 4-8 permanent university places for artists with a refugee background at the HKB/BFH.

So far, there has been interdepartmental cooperation with Solibri (Social Work Sub-Association). To cooperate with other departments of the BFH in the future seems to us to be extremely important and beneficial for the project. Interested parties are welcome to contact us via the contact at the bottom of this page.

Concept paper

With its commitment and the corresponding objectives, the working group refers to the concept paper «Engagement der HKB für KünstlerInnen auf der Flucht», , which was adopted by the HKB in 2016.


Are you an artist or creative with  a strong connection to art, music, literary writing or design?
Have you thought refuge in Switzerland or are you accompanying a refugee?
Are you interested in attending a HKB course or cooperating with us?
Then get in touch with us at


In order for the project to continue to develop, the AG needs active support. There are various ways to collaborate with us: 


Are you a student at the HKB and would you like to actively support an artist with a refugee background? Whether it’s about helping to orient  or choose modules, answering questions about studying or simply spending time together – the tasks as mentor*in are varied and interesting.

Member of the working group

Would you like to gain experience in fundraising, communication or public relations? Or can you support us with your artistic talent? As part of the team, you will work for educational justice at Swiss universities, meet interested and committed students* and participants* and actively pursue educational policy work. Currently we offer a payed position as the Coordinator* of the AG. Are you interested? Get more infos here.


The AG is made up of students and alumni, as well as lecturers from the HKB. Since June 2019 the AG is affiliated to kulturesk and is represented by one member of the board. The core team takes over the administrative tasks, ensures the financial continuity of the project, acquires new participants* and links them with student mentors*. It also takes care of networking and public relations work and puts together a varied supporting programme.  Current members of the core team are: Elisa Carl (MA KUR), Eva Maspoli (BA KUR), Miles Zuberbühler (BA Music), Lilian Beidler (lecturer Sound Arts), Jonas Schmidt (Alumnus MA CAP), Rahel Inauen (Alumna MA Design)