Décentrer les pratiques et les postures: une recherche sur la blanchité à l’œuvre dans la création culturelle romande

The role of whiteness in culture creation in French-speaking Switzerland: From October 2020 to January 2021 the Théâtre de l’Usine (TU) in Geneva is interviewing a wide variety of People of Colour from the local cultural scene who have experienced systemic racism. The aim of this research project is to identify and uncover mechanisms of discrimination – mechanisms which lead to PoC and their experiences, perspectives and stories being absent, rejected or downright forgotten. From the interviews the TU will derive specific anti-racist and decolonial forms of communication and ways of working. In the interest of fair practice, the TU is developing, both for itself and the wider cultural scene in French-speaking Switzerland, strategies to boost diversity among artists, colleagues, programmes and audiences.

Since 2020, the Théâtre de l’Usine has been organising a cultural mediation programme through discussions, conferences, meetings with artists and workings, as a laboratory for critical thinking. For «Décentrer les pratiques et les postures», the project work group consisting of Léa Genoud, Kayije Kagame, Hélène Mateev, Ramaya Tegegne and Fatima Wegmann is conducting interviews, the results of which will be formed into a publication made public in May 2021. 

People of Colour (PoC):

For the meaning of the self description PoC see the glossary of The Diversity Style Guide.

Théâtre de l’Usine: We prefer the sociological term «racisé» (French for «racialised», although in English «PoC» is preferred) to the term «people with a migration background», because it points more precisely to the phenomena connected with racism that we want to highlight in our project. In the view of the Décolonisons les arts! collective, «race» doesn’t exist, but groups and individuals are racialised: a social construction linked to a historical and evolutionary definition of «race». The racialisation process refers to the various legal, cultural, social and political means by which individual people and groups obtain traits or stigmas. Being white is a social and cultural label that comes with privileges and rights.

More information


Image: Performance d’Anna Tjé, lors de „Rupture: Dissocier, transformer, (dé)construire les récits“ au Théâtre de l’Usine, octobre 2019 ©Théâtre de l’Usine