July & August
A Cultural Newsletter

Pick of the month  | July & August 2018

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Connaissance des publics


The City of Geneva museums are (sometimes literally) the coolest places to be this summer. If you do take up our suggestion to visit one of the exhibitions listed below, it’s very likely you will be welcomed at the door by a “Connaissance des Publics” Survey officer who will ask you your year of birth and your residence post code. All data collected in this survey is strictly anonymous and will be managed in complete confidentiality. Thank you for cooperating and helping us get a better picture of the people who visit our museums and measure their satisfaction!









Family, Kids, All Audiences


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1st August

Swiss National Day - 1 August

Open-air cultural event

It happened 727 years ago on an Alpine meadow when three little cantons made a pact of confederation and created what we now know as Switzerland. Like so many other Swiss institutions, the National Day is typically celebrated at a municipal level and the City of Geneva is hosting its 1st of August party at Parc La Grange. A big bonfire and a paper lantern parade are part of the tradition. As for competitive rifle shoots, they have fortunately been replaced by short film projections, a digital treasure hunt and food trucks! The City of Biel/Bienne and Geneva’s world-famous particle physics lab CERN are the guests of honour, providing all kinds of activities for kids and families. The long summer night ends in live music on the Ella Fitzgerald stage and dancing to Swiss folk and gypsy swing ‘til the wee hours.




1 August - Parc La Grange

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Rasheed Araeen

Rasheed Araeen 

A Retrospective Exhibition : Contemporary art

Geneva’s Modern and Contemporary Art Museum (MAMCO) presents this summer a retrospective of the work of Pakistani artist Rasheed Araeen. Born in 1935 and largely self-taught, Araeen develops his own creative idiom, based on simple forms and the notion of symmetry. The exhibition spans almost 60 years of work, from constructive and minimalist sculptures going back to the 1960s, to recent works in paint, inspired by decorative Islamic art. A highly politicized figure, involved with the Black Panthers in 1972, Rasheed Araeen questions the universalist pretensions of Western modernity by affirming the diversity of abstract art’s origins.



All Audiences

30 May - 9 September - MAMCO

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Bette Davis

Bette Davis

A Retrospective : Film 

Bette Davis: a woman unbowed, an actor who totally nailed all the emancipated women characters she played for Warner Bros. in the 1930s, the Hollywood studio famed for its tough, realistic and broad-minded films. She already had 10 Academy Awards Best Actress nominations and two Oscars under her belt, for Dangerous and Jezebel, when she starred in the films that made her a Hollywood legend: King Vidor’s Beyond the Forest and Mankiewicz’s All About Eve. Much later in her career, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and Hush, hush, Sweet Charlotte, showed that the old girl still had a mean kick in her. Relive the legend this summer in the Grütli’s basement cinema: “Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy night…”


All Audiences

20 June - 10 July - Cinémas du Grütli

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The Geneva Ballet Company closes the opera and ballet season at the Opéra des Nations with a double bill. Inspired by the “Romantic vertigo” they experience when listening to the music of the 19th century, American Andrew Skeels and Slovak-Dutch Natalia Horecna present two new pieces. With live music performers on stage, the Geneva Ballet will perform Skeels’ Fallen and Horecna’s Return to Nothingness, to the music of, respectively, songs by Tchaikovsky and Schumann and Franz Schubert’s monument of exquisite melancholy, the Piano Trio in E-flat Major, D 929.


All Audiences

28 June - 4 July - Opéra des Nations


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Croisée des cultures

La croisée des cultures


Folk Music and Dance Workshops

From all over Europe and the world, traditional artists will be coming together in Geneva in the first week in July to give us locals a crash course in what they do best. Inuit vocal games; Bulgarian polyphonies and traditional instruments; Persian classical repertoire; Indo-Iranian rhythms; Brazilian percussions; Greek, Persian, Flamenco and Kathak dance… And it’s all done in a relaxed and friendly setting with food and fellowship galore. The workshops are for adults but there are also three “Journeys” (to India, Greece and Brazil) for kids and some of the workshops will be facilitated in English. Smaller workshops (6-7 participants) can also accommodate English speakers. Register online on the Ateliers d’Ethnomusicologie website (www.adem-geneve.ch).


Families, Kids, All Audiences

1 July - 7 July - Various locations

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Science Film Festival

Intelligent Futures is the theme for the 8th edition of CERN’s film festival, with not only open-air projections of feature films (a 50th anniversary remastered edition of Kubrick’s 2001 – A Space Odyssey) but also shorts, documentaries, workshops, a Martian Base, virtual reality films, an Artificial Intelligence for Culture hackathon and improv matches. The opening film, Alpha Go, is a moving and suspenseful documentary on the first AI winner of the ancient Japanese board game of go, not to be missed!  Admission free, open to all audiences and fully accessible in English and French.







All Audiences

29 June - 8 July - CERN

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We're inspired



Contained | Contenu

Contained / Contenu

Exhibition : Contemporary art

The Ariana Museum is Switzerland’s museum of the arts of ceramics and glass. This summer it hosts seven contemporary artists who address the conceptual dialogue between container and contained, beyond the utilitarian function of the objects they create. The word "contained" implies enclosed inside a volume or space, while the notion of content suggests something signified or revealed, a deep, latent meaning. While the ceramist constructs around a void, the glassblower creates this void. Working with pottery, ceramics, fiberglass, stoneware, glass and blown glass, the artists, each in their unique expressive language, let their works oscillate between materiality and emotion, inviting visitors to a quiet meditation on the inner and outer dimensions of the object.


All Audiences

Until 10 October 2018 - Musée Ariana

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Africa : religions

Africa: The Ecstatic Religions

Exhibition : Ethnic and Tribal Arts 

If it (finally) starts getting too hot this summer, one of the best places to escape from the heat and the glare is the MEG’s exhibition space, two floors underground in a vast crypt that houses the permanent exhibition (admission free) and this year’s showcase exhibit on the objects and practices of mystic religion in Africa. More than 400 pieces from the MEG’s collection are on show for the first time, along with fascinating photo and video documents, illustrating the rituals and artefacts used by the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora to enter into intense communion with the divine forces of their beliefs, either with God or the spirits of nature or of their ancestors.





All Audiences

Until 20 January 2019 - Musée d'ethnographie

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AES+F Theatrum Mundi

Exhibition : Contemporary Art

The Art and History Museum’s temporary exhibition space is offering a total visual arts experience to visitors this summer. Theatrum Mundi (“All the world’s a stage”, in Latin) presents two videos by the Russian artists collective AES+F, who since the 1990s have been customizing digital photographs and stage-managing a lot of performers, creating spectacular, large-scale, immersive animation videos. These wizards of the contemporary baroque fresco create an open, protean and quasi-satirical narrative, where Classical Western art and religion merge with the aesthetic codes of today’s technology, fashion and image-obsessed culture.

All Audiences

Until 7 October 2019 - Musée d'art et d'histoire

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Images de scienceScientific Images 

Exhibition : Natural Science

The History of Science Museum (MHS) is in one of Geneva’s loveliest buildings… and settings! Built in 1830, the Villa Bartholoni sits in the middle of La Perle du Lac’s lakeside park atop a grassy slope with a fantastic view of the lake and the Alps. Why not combine a picnic with a tour of the MHS’ latest, bilingual English-French exhibition: “Scientific Images”? Understanding how scientific image are different from other kinds of image and for what reasons is the first step visitors make before visiting realms beyond our physical limits, visualising science in new, unexpected ways.





Families, All Audiences

Until 26 August - Parc de la Perle du lac

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Musiques en étéMusiques en été

Free summer music festival 

“Music (please note the plural!) in Summer” is definitely THE summer festival in Geneva! For the first time ever, a full week of concerts in Parc La Grange every night, from ADHD’s Icelandic jazz to folk-classical fusion with the OCG and Jon Boden, and not forgetting dance nights with Fanfare Ciocărlia, the cumbia of Chico Trujillo or Tiken Jah Fakoly’s reggae. All this in addition to the usual programme of 30 concerts in July and August which will be held either in the beautiful settings of the Alhambra or the Victoria Hall, or in the leafy surroundings of Parc La Grange, due to renovation work in the Hôtel de Ville courtyard. Check out what’s on offer via the new mobile app “Genève en été”.


Families, All Audiences

6 July - 22 August - Various locations

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Let's get moving

La Tour Genève Triathlon

Open-air sports event

Just like the Course de l'Escalade in winter, the Geneva La Tour Triathlon is becoming one of the best-attended amateur sport competitions in the Greater Geneva area. The main events (Men, Women and Relay) are taking place on Sunday 15 July but if you aren't sure about your capacity to clock in the obligatory 1,5/40/10 (that's swimming, bike and running in km, by the way) there are a whole lot of alternative categories for you on Saturday all day long: Kidsathlon, Junior (10-11, 12-13), Short,. Discovery and Run & Bike. Whether you're competing or rooting for family or friends, see you at the lakeside where the games begin!

Families, Kids, All Audiences

13 July - 15 July - Rotonde du Mont-Blanc

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La tour Genève Triathlon

de la culture et du sport.

Route de Malagnou 19, 1208 Genève