Opening of the Exhibition “Votes & Voices” - Swiss Campaign Posters 1918-Today in Skopje

Local news, 28.06.2019

Sybille Suter, Ambassador of Switzerland in North Macedonia, yesterday opened the exhibition “Votes & Voices” - Swiss Campaign Posters from 1918 to the present by the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Skopje.

Ambassador Suter addressing at the opening of the “Votes & Voices” exhibition and the launch of the project “Support to Electoral Reforms in North Macedonia”. © FDFA

The opening of the exhibition marks the start of the Swiss supported project “Support to Electoral Reforms in North Macedonia”.

On this occasion, Ambassador Suter said that this exhibition shows that citizens of Switzerland have not only the right, but also instruments that enables them to have significant involvement in the political process. “Citizens are the highest political authority in all democratic systems, but it is equally important to have instruments that enable them to practice that democratic power. This exhibition came at a very interesting moment for North Macedonia when a new cycle of debates about the electoral reforms is underway. In the following 10 years, within the Electoral Reforms project, we will work towards achieving more democratic and credible election processes, which will include a number of state institutions, political parties, civil society and voters. I am very glad that the project has received full endorsement from the Government, as well as from all other stakeholders, which is a key precondition for the success of this process.”

The “Votes & Voices” exhibition presents visual argumentation strategies and a pictorial rhetoric that have shaped Swiss campaign posters from 1918 to the present. As sensitive indicators of socio-political moods, and as valuable contemporary documents, the exhibits reflect not only the history of Swiss approach but also global trends.

“Swiss Campaign posters from 1918 to our days accompany referendums as a central instrument of direct democracy. Around half of all referendums worldwide are held in Switzerland, they are thus an important element of the concordant political system ever since the foundation of the federal state in 1848.”, said Bettina Richter, the curator of the exhibition from the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, at the opening event. “Time and again, the issues at stake make feelings run high and lead to fierce ideological battles. Testimony to these disputes are the campaign posters, which have sought to influence public opinion since the early 20th century. Clichés, undifferentiated simplifications, a repertoire of drastic motifs and catchy slogans correspond to the laws of the medium of the poster, whose aim is direct mass manipulation. As sensitive indicators of socio-political moods, and as valuable contemporary documents, the exhibits reflect not only the history of Swiss mentality but also global trends.”

The exhibition “Votes & Voices” of the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, the leading Swiss Museum of design and visual communication, will take place from 27 June until 12 August 2019. Organized by the Swiss Embassy to North Macedonia, in cooperation with the Museum of Contemporary Arts, it presents 50 posters about referendums in Switzerland covering the period of 1918 until today.

The project “Support to Electoral Reforms in North Macedonia” aims at supporting democratic and credible election processes that facilitate political participation and social integration by enabling voters to select their representatives and to hold them accountable. It is a project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), implemented by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and its partner National Youth Council of Macedonia (NYCM) and responds to emerging priorities and developments in the political and electoral arena, while supporting country’s efforts towards Euro-Atlantic integration.

For more information, please contact the Embassy of Switzerland in North Macedonia: +389 2 310 33 00 or e-mail