Melt the sea ice: The difficult opening of Swiss cities to young cultures

  • Pierre Raboud DINÂMIA'CET-IUL
Keywords: territorialisation, cultural policy, autonomy, social movements, integration


The year 1980 represents a pivotal year for the development of the major cities of Switzerland. Until then marked by an extremely poor and diversified cultural offer, the appearance and the activity of the young musical scenes obliged them to change policy. This sudden arrival of music scenes will first go through a conflictual phase. To melt the pack ice that then covers the cities, the young actors of these scenes will have to mobilize to conquer urban territories. But thereafter, the authorities initiated reforms taking into account the demands of musical scenes as to their existence in the urban landscape. By focusing on the five largest cities of Switzerland (Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Bern and Lausanne), this article aims to show how the music scenes have made it possible to modernize these cities by renewing their identity and concretely in their territory. From a socio-historical perspective, this study will cross the testimonies of individuals who are members of these scenes, quantitative data on cultural offerings and studies of government policies. It will be both to observe the concrete impact of the musical scenes on these cities and to ask whether this integration implies forms of recovery or transformation of its scenes.

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