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Switzerland says sorry!

In a new satirical video format, Swiss comedian and director Patrick Karpiczenko apologises for Switzerland’s transgressions.

This content was published on March 25, 2022 - 14:00
Karpi, Marc Leutenegger

The Swiss banking centre has cleaned up its act over the past few years, but film industry villains still have their accounts here. They are not the only ones: Russian oligarchs have a soft spot for Swiss banks too.

With deep lakes and high mountains, the Alpine nation is full of contrasts. Humanitarian organisations like the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have their headquarters here, but so do scandal-ridden international sports federations like FIFA. Switzerland is both a role model and the black sheep of the flock. As unthreatening as a Swiss Army knife, and yet repeatedly the focus of international criticism.

In a long tradition

In our new satirical format, we explore this ambivalence and say “sorry” to the world – for minor and major transgressions.

Produced by Swiss comedian, writer and director Patrick Karpiczenko, the segments are intended to inform and entertain, especially on social media.

Satire has always been the overlap of humor and seriousness. Ever since Jon Stewart, former host of the Daily Show, was voted the most trusted news anchor in the US in 2009, satire has been embraced by the mainstream media. From Last Week Tonight with John Oliver to animated explainers from Vox, Cheddar or VICE, there is a wide choice today for news consumers on social media. We see our format as part of that tradition.

The first episode discusses the new extension at the Zurich Art Museum [Kunsthaus Zurich], built by the city of Zurich to display the art collection of controversial arms dealer Emil Bührle – a collection whose legitimate acquisition during the Second World War is in doubt. What many experts consider insufficient provenance research has become a PR disaster for the politically left-leaning city. 

“When researching looted art and the Holocaust, I completely lost my sense of humour at times,” says Karpiczenko. He also says it was difficult to define the relationship between humor and journalism. “How much depth does it need – it's a question that has yet to be answered for the next episodes.”

But for now: press play!

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