Thomas Brasey

2012 - 2017

In the 60s and 70s, Switzerland experienced a rare episode of internal unrest: the fight for independence of the canton (state) of Jura, that far integrated to the canton of Bern. On this occasion, the country underwent several "terrorist" attacks committed by the Bélier (Ram), a separatist group militating through funny, somehow absurd and (almost always) non-violent acts.

This work explores the oppressing, kind of unfriendly, territory of Jura in search of traces of the struggle, and re-enacts some of the most striking actions of the Bélier. These allusive theatrics, performed by their original protagonists, were thought as a tribute to the Béliers’ humoristic and zany way of conceiving political activism.

Although proud of having put up this fight, the former Béliers have mixed feelings about its outcome (the canton of Jura was created in 1979). Somehow frustrated that their homeland is “just another canton”, some tend to imply that the struggle was much more fulfilling than its result, in spite of their victory. This sense of deception is emphasized in this series, which aims to be a reflexion about political commitment in a western democracy such as Switzerland, as well as reference to a strange page of its history.

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