Calmy-Rey in the National Museum: Red shoes and a wish for Switzerland

Updates 4/23/2019
Reading time: 2 minute(s)

For nine years she guided the fortunes of Switzerland as Foreign Minister. Still today she is a keen observer of the country’s foreign policy. Together with “Weltwoche” publisher Roger Köppel and industrialist Thomas Schmidheiny, Micheline Calmy-Rey took to the Vontobel Impact podium to address the topic "What is moving Switzerland". Afterward, Impact conducted this video interview with Madame Calmy-Rey.

The former Federal Councilor at the Impact podium on the new Switzerland exhibition in the National Museum

A video interview with Micheline Calmy-Rey, former Federal Councilor and visiting professor at Geneva’s Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. ©Video: Vontobel 2019

The future in sight, the past in mind: On April 9, 2019 the speakers at the Impact podium put the new exhibition "History of Switzerland" at the National Museum in Zurich in a special context. Here is the politician who fought like no other for the country’s awakening and for equal rights. And around her was the history of Switzerland, which was anything but progressive when it came to women's issues. And yet it was the foundations of the Federal Constitution, the people's rights and federalism that inspired Calmy-Rey's foreign policy of "active neutrality" – for example, when she crossed the demarcation line between North and South Korea, in May 2003, becoming the first official representative of a foreign government to do so. Without taking sides, she raised the profile of the conflict on the agenda of the international media. Today, Calmy-Rey's red sneakers, which she wore on that occasion, blaze symbolically from a showcase in the National Museum.

Moments of happiness, challenges and "active neutrality"

Look back with Micheline Calmy-Rey at the moments of good fortune in Swiss history, the challenges of today and the politics of tomorrow.


About Micheline Calmy-Rey

Representing the Social Democratic Party, Micheline Calmy-Rey was a member of the Swiss Federal Council from 2003 to the end of 2011, directing the fortunes of Swiss foreign policy during this period. In her nine years as Foreign Minister, she coined the term "active neutrality", committed herself to human rights and promoted equal opportunities for women and men – even if this meant taking quotas into consideration. Today, Madame Calmy-Rey is a visiting professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, where she completed her own education years before.

  

Vontobel is a partner of the Landesmuseum Zurich and is involved in projects such as the "History Lab" for young people.
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Who are we? What makes us matter? The question of our identity moves society; art, science, politics, and every one of us seek answers. This interview with former Federal Councilor Micheline Calmy-Rey is one of numerous contributions that illuminate the topic of identity from a new, inspiring perspective. We are publishing them here as part of our series “Impact”.