the art of a culture of hope


The future isn’t looking hopeful. Climate change, peak oil, mass migration, wars in the Arab world and beyond, destabilisation within Europe, financial instability, the rise of nationalism and the erosion of human rights.

J & J feel that culture can play a significant role in changing this narrative.

J & J will not define hope, but will ignite a nation wide conversation around what fear does to you, what hope may be and what a culture of hope can do for us. This is a long-term conversation about the values of our society. 

Tender Provocations of Hope and Fear - An evening of performance, presentations and music by people that work with, think about and have experienced both hope and fear: with for example Kim Noble and Jeremy Wade .

The seconde day event is called A Space for Hope. We will do workshops with a selection of local groups, artist & school kids to discuss hope and fear and share what we have found with each other and the audience.

All of these discussions and performances will go to the Archive of Hope that will grow during the next 2 to 3 years and will create the foundation for the initiative - and later, with the citizens’ help, we will propose a referendum to secure a ‘Culture of Hope’ for every person living in Switzerland by trying to make it a paragraph in the Swiss constitution ( - and therefore maybe have something in the hand to ban the politics of fear).

Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, it is rather the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” Vaclav Havel


Tender Provocations of Hope and Fear (the Zürich version)

This evening is the first public event presented in the context of this project and brings together performances, lectures and project presentations about experiences with fear and/or hope. Kim Noble is worried about hope. Fear fills his body when he thinks about hope, since it is that kind of hope he cannot bear. The contribution by Christian Reverend Janet Hephzibah Ashton is about the ambiguity she feels when she preaches that hope is always present through God’s all-encompassing love but is challenged to see hope in her private life where her daughter suffers from an illness. Jeremy Wade presents the character of «The Battlefield Nurse», a prostitute, healer and midwife for the dying who practices a bewitched, self-empowering, scary version of care. the vacuum cleaner talks about his experience with an allegedly hopeless, fearful place: the security unit of a psychiatric hospital for mentally ill delinquents– he hopes to be able to speak about it. Furthermore, there are contributions by Alina Dheere Babaletsos, Fai Baba (guitar and voice) & Domi Chansorn (drums) and many more.

→ In German and in English with live translation, also into sign language


Idea / Concept / Artistic direction: Jessica Huber & James Leadbitter (aka The vacuum cleaner) 

Space & artistic collaboration: Ramin Mosayebi & Gabi Rutz 

Performances so far by: Jeremy Wade, Kim Noble, Sarah Vanhee, Alina Dheere Babaletsos, Janet Hephzibah Ashton, Nikos & Luca, Tzeni Argyriou, Artemis Lampiri, Elpida Orfanidou, Kostas Tsioukas, Timo Krsten, Miriam Walter Kohn, Fai Baba & Domi Chansorn, Long Tall Jefferson.

Installation artist: Vassilis Gerodimos


A Space for Hope 

We need a bit of “space” and a lot of hope – a space for hope! We also need space for fear, to talk about it and understand what it does to us. J&J and a group of local associations, civil fora, networks of solidarity, Zurich based artists and school classes discuss hope and fear and thereby want to create a first step towards the success of a new law for a culture of hope.

Website –


Cultural Award for Dance 2016 / City of Zürich                               

« Jessica Huber and James Leadbetter and their team confront the catastrophes and misfortunes of the contemporary world. They oppose the politics and social structures of fear with the utopian idea of a ‘Culture of Hope’. They use art as a potential space to create a forum for civil groups and organisations in order to facilitate a long-term debate among a broad network of artists. Their research proposal is based on a ‘Radical Archive of Hope’. This shall consist of living relationships and processes — rather than a self-contained artistic project — and be presented digitally and physically in ‘online and offline practices’. In an initial venture at Theaterhaus Gessnerallee, the artistic team showed how cooperative research can be implemented by a broad circle of artists. The research project now aims to use these results over the long-term and to develop a living archive. »

Jessica  Huber and James Leadbetter receive a research grant.


In collaboration with Gessnerallee Zürich, Roxy Theater Basel & Südpol Luzern.

Supported by: Fachstelle Kultur Kanton Zürich, Stadt Zürich Kultur, Schweizer Kulturstiftung Pro Helvetia, Migros Kulturprozent/Prärie.

More information following soon: