Seeing Switzerland through the eyes of a Swiss photographer

The Swiss cross comes to mind, the Swiss army knife, the Alps, cheese of course, or perhaps fine chocolate: but what is typically Swiss? What characterises the country and its people, and connects the various regions despite their different languages?

These questions led the Swiss photographer Igor Ponti (*1981), who focuses on traditional and emerging identities, on a cross-canton journey – with the odddetour. He discovered expressive visual Helvetisisms and, in part, in a mocking or affectionate way, points out distinctions between the cantons that neverthelessconnect them in terms of culture and territory: motorways cut through picturesque landscapes, a huge carved William Tell stands by the wayside, sausagestands sell cervelat or bratwurst, a charming, old wooden house emits plenty of nostalgia, garden gnomes wear red and white, concrete anti-tank barriers protect the endangered idyll.

Igor Ponti, "Looking for Identity", photo book about Switzerland
Igor Ponti, “Looking for Identity” – Hatje Cantz 2014 – Texts by Pietro Bellasi and Giovanna Calvenzi – English and Italian
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