Pas de voix, pas de chocolat 🗳🍫🇨🇭 (long post)
These are campaign posters from March 2018 national vote on the “No-Billag” initiative in Switzerland. On the very left you can see a poster where is written “Pas de voix, pas de chocolat” (No voice, no chocolate). This poster was created by a young woman from #Geneva who won the “CinéCivic” award (1000CHF) of the Canton of Genève, for creating and submitting a poster to encourage people to vote and take part in democracy. The poster is indeed very impactful but yet, it can also be interpreted as an offense by a part of the #Swiss society that is not granted rights to vote. Indeed in #Switzerland, around 1/4 of the population established on the Swiss territory do not own a Swiss passport and therefore, do not benefit from political rights in the country they live in, they work in, they might even have been born in as well as their parents. (!) Switzerland is famous for having one of the least liberalised naturalisation procedure in the world with a standard process that is first possible after 12 years of owning long-term residence permit, that itself sometimes takes several years to obtain. The process itself involves getting judged by fellow citizens, which can be a really difficult procedure and a very intrusive experience. So imagine you’ve spent your whole life in a place where you can’t access political rights and yet you read in the streets “No voice, no chocolate”. This can be seen as a marginalizing and offensive message to these people, especially when displayed next to a MCG poster that stands very explicit messages against foreigners.
In 2015, the canton of Geneva launched a campaign calling foreigners to vote in local elections, which is possible after holding a residence permit for 8 years in Geneva. The campaign displayed in 7 languages “I am 8, I vote” on posters all around the city, including on trams. Once again, despite the good intention, the words used in the campaign were very much infantilizing foreigners by annihilating the value of their lives before Geneva and recalling them that, just like 8-year old kids, they are not allowed to have a say in the broader Swiss society. #analog #35mm