Thursday , September 23 2021
Home / Swissinfo
Swissinfo

Swissinfo

International Service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation

Videos by Swissinfo

Visiting Kari Voutilainen’s watchmaking atelier

Finnish master watchmaker Kari Voutilainen recently opened a new atelier in Canton Neuchâtel. Voutilainen could in some ways be described as the Lionel Messi of fine watchmaking.

To his credit are no fewer than eight prizes at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix, one of the most prestigious award ceremonies in the industry. His timepieces are snapped up around the globe by wealthy collectors, most notably in the United States, and at stratospheric prices. ‘Entry-level’ watches for his eponymous brand will set you back at least 75,000 CHF excluding tax, and the waiting lists are constantly growing.

In 2002 he set out as an independent watchmaker, his lifelong dream. Three years later, he caused a sensation at the Basel Watch Fair by presenting the first watch to bear his name, a minute

View more

A giant water battery in the Swiss Alps

The amount of electricity that can be stored thanks to the new pumped-storage and turbine power station in Nant de Drance, canton Valais, could charge more than 400,000 electric car batteries. Its director explains the role of this "water battery" for electricity supply and grid stabilisation in Switzerland and Europe.

“The electric storage capacity of the reservoir surpasses that of 400,000 electric car batteries,” explains Alain Sauthier, engineer and director of the Nant de Drance pumped-storage hydroelectric plant, pointing towards the Vieux Emosson reservoir. This artificial lake was built in 1955 in the municipality of Finhaut, high in the Alps of the Swiss canton of Valais.

Between 2012 and 2016, the height of the Vieux Emosson dam was raised by some 20 metres to increase the

View more

An alternative life of Swiss luxury

Thomas Brunschwig leads an unconventional life. He is a self-confessed outsider who has found his sustainable, spiritual paradise in a Bernese farmhouse filled with various Indian and Chinese instruments and sculptures – and four zebu cattle.

The zebu produce neither milk nor meat. In fact he says the only useful thing they produce is dung, the fuel of fire in the Vedic religion. “Technically, if I calculate the income from selling dried cow pats, they are self-sufficient,” he says.

The wooden building is nestled among lush forest, perfect for foraging for fruit, vegetables and plants. And the cattle share their home with countless butterflies, frogs, snails, lizards and spiders.

“Everyone sees luxury differently,” Brunschwig says. “My water for life comes from mountain springs. There

View more

Afghan women face an uncertain future

One of the big questions since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan is what will become of Afghan women.

When the militant group last ruled the country, women and girls were barred from schools, universities and jobs, and had to veil from head to toe in public. The Swiss-based non-profit group Geneva Call has been active in Afghanistan for several years, trying to improve the protection of women in particular. Marie Lequin, Head of the Eurasia region, says its local staff, some of whom are female, will continue this work.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe

View more

3 essential items for Swiss urban swimming

People in Switzerland are really into urban open water swimming, especially with rivers running through cities like Basel, Bern and Zurich. In this video that originally appeared live on our Facebook page, Susan Misicka and Taylor deGraffenried show you some must-have items for taking the plunge. They also share tips for a relaxing and safe swim.

You can also listen to our podcast, The Swiss Connection, to hear about a Swiss woman who is so passionate about river swimming that she’s being trying to export the concept abroad. Renata von Tscharner founded the Charles River Conservancy to help people make the most of the so-called "dirty water" flowing through the Greater Boston Area. You can listen to that episode and see photos here:

View more

Diplomatic back channels: Castro stretches out a hand to Clinton in Geneva

Cuban president Fidel Castro flew to Geneva in 1998 for a world summit and while there wished to initiate ties with US president Bill Clinton. While his hopes were dashed, the Cuban leader did leave a lasting impression on the international community.

In 1998, for the 50th anniversary of the WHO and GATT (now WTO), government leaders and officials from all over the world flocked to Geneva. Among them were Castro and then US president Bill Clinton.
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Castro had hoped the summit could prove an occasion to improve Cuba’s relationship with the United States. Though Castro and Clinton both stayed at Geneva’s InterContinental hotel, the only time they were in close proximity was in the assembly hall of the United Nations.
While Clinton failed to

View more

How the Swiss Abroad celebrate their national day


The Swiss are celebrating their National Day, not only here in the Alpine homeland but in every country where Swiss people are now living and working. August 1 marks a historic event back in 1291, when the three founding fathers are said to have taken an oath to defend their freedom against outside overlords. The alliance sealed on the Rütli meadow is celebrated every year with speeches and bonfires, firework displays, picnics and traditional music all around the country. We asked some Swiss people living abroad to tell us how they would be marking their special day.

Swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews

View more

The grand old man of Swiss alpinism

Meet Marcel, father of the legendary Swiss climbers Claude and Yves Remy. Marcel may be 98 years old, but he’s still climbing. You can see him in action here at the climbing centre in Villeneuve on the eastern shores of Lake Geneva. Marcel Remy spent all his free time in the mountains, taking his two sons with him. Claude and his brother Yves inherited Marcel’s determination and resilience. The Lausanne-born hard-rock lovers opened and outfitted thousands of new climbing routes across Europe.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

View more

Inbreeding hits bearded vultures in the Alps

Switzerland is celebrating the reintroduction of 50 Bearded Vultures to the Swiss Alps. It’s 30 years since the programme began in the Swiss Wildlife Reserve near Melchsee-Frutt in central Switzerland.

The Bearded Vulture used to be widespread in large parts of the Alps but was hunted to extinction towards the end of the 19th century. The wild population is growing in the cantons of Valais and Graubünden, but the raptors in central Switzerland needed a helping hand. Thanks to an international reintroduction scheme, the distinctive bearded birds have made a comeback there, but there are still challenges to be overcome.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on

View more

The Swiss restaurant that serves up leftovers

Would you eat warmed up leftovers? You can get them at a new pop-up restaurant in eastern Switzerland that is fighting food waste. 

Samuel Indermühle and Chiang Dinh-Khai Nguyen are students at the Passugg Hotel Management School in eastern Switzerland, and were asked to come up with a project focused on sustainability. Food waste is a huge problem in Switzerland, with 190 kg of food being thrown away every year.
The pair decided to create culinary delicacies from the leftovers from the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, and general manager Marco Zanolari didn’t need much persuading to back the plan.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For

View more

Why is Switzerland important in the commodity trading sector?

Tiny landlocked Switzerland is a big player in the commodity trading business. The country’s involvement in this industry can be traced back to the 15th century, when its ideal central location had merchants from all over Europe meeting on its city square to exchange goods.

Today, commodities are shipped around the world in huge container ships, and the trading mostly happens in climatised offices, far away from the mines and ports. Giants such as Glencore, Vitol and Trafigura have their headquarters in Switzerland.

But what is commodity trading exactly, and who is doing what? What’s the impact of this industry on Switzerland’s economy? Why is commodity trading usually discussed in connection to controversial topics such as deforestation, human rights violations, and corruption?

View more

Diplomatic back channels: years of USA-Syria talks in Geneva

Stretching over several decades, meetings in Geneva between American presidents and Syrian president Hafez al-Assad, raised hopes of peace in the Middle East.

The situation at the end of the 1960s in the Middle East is tense. Israel and the Arab states are at war. Syria clashes against Israel over occupied territories in the Golan Heights. The US hopes to stabilise the region by strengthening ties with Arab nations.
It is in Geneva that presidents Hafez al-Assad and Jimmy Carter meet in 1977 for peace negotiations. The talks are unsuccessful.
In 1990, president George H. W. Bush meets Assad in Geneva again. The context is tense, and only a few weeks later, the US attacks Iraq supported by Syrian troops who have joined the international coalition.
Two other meetings follow in Geneva in

View more

Underwater archaeologists dive into the past

It’s ten years since over a hundred ancient stilt villages sites in the Alps received UNESCO World Heritage status. These sites have been found in lakes, rivers and bogs in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France, Austria, and Slovenia.

Improved research methods have helped archaeologists learn much more about the civilizations that lived in these now-submerged villages. swissinfo.ch met a team of diving archaeologists in Sutz-Lattrigen on the southern shore of Lake Biel, who showed us how they carried out their painstaking – and often freezing cold – research work.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and

View more

Finding joy and inspiration through the covid 19 pandemic

While the coronavirus pandemic has put many projects on hold, for some people it also freed up the time to pick up new hobbies and make those New Year resolution come true. In this last episode of our series’ second season, you’ll discover what paper quilling is and looks like, how to look at the bright side of a cancelled wedding and why art can be important in coping with the daily blues.

Our Silver Linings series is made of videos our readers and followers sent to us, to show what has happened during the covid19 pandemic.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to

View more

Icy relations warm up in Geneva

The handshake between US-President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin between made headlines in Geneva on Wednesday. The atmosphere of their meeting was described as “warm”. The summit took place amid a huge security operation involving thousands of police and military personnel. The lake and parts of the city became no-go zones.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website: http://www.swissinfo.ch
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/swissinfovideos
Subscribe:

View more

How Geneva is preparing for Biden and Putin

Geneva will be hosting the first presidential meeting between the American president Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Preparations are underway.

As the host country, Switzerland will be deploying its good offices and taking all the necessary measures to ensure that talks, which start on June 16, can take place as safely and as discreetly as possible.

Issues which have contributed to a rise in tensions between the United States and Russia are likely to be discussed, says Marc Finaud, a global security expert. For Ambassador Jürg Lauber, head of the Swiss Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, it’s important that the two presidents meet in person and that the two big powers can have a constructive dialogue in these challenging times.

This is not the first time

View more

Protest over academic collaboration with China

The Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) is one of three European institutions cooperating with a university in China with ties to the military. Not all ZHdK staff and students agree with the move.

A petition has been organised by Verso, the ZHdK student organisation, which is calling for cooperation with the Chinese Harbin Institute of Technology to cease immediately. It has been signed by 531 students and members of staff. But a Swiss-China relations expert says that the petition’s call to stop cooperation goes too far.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our

View more

Hollywood gives Swiss bankers a bad rap

To foreigners, Switzerland often means Alpine mountains, cows, chocolates – and tax evasion. As Frédéric Maire, director of the Swiss national film archives, explains in this video, the Hollywood movie machine is helping to keep these clichés alive.

He examines whether the sleazy characters depicted in films such as Wolf of Wall Street are simply exaggerations of the real bankers working in Geneva. We ask him whether the rigid, stiff, secretive, protestant, Germanic banking types of Zürich are real or just figments of filmmakers’ imaginations.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website: http://www.swissinfo.ch
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/swissinfovideos
Subscribe:

View more

Napoleon Bonaparte’s impact on Switzerland

To mark the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s death, Swiss Public Television SRF takes a closer look at the changes he brought about in Switzerland, as he plowed his way across Europe with the French Imperial Army.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website: http://www.swissinfo.ch
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/swissinfovideos
Subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=swissinfovideos

View more

Covid-19: WHO really calls the shots?

How much do we really know about the World Health Organization – the agency that Covid-19 has thrust into the spotlight?

Its job it is to promote universal health care, set standards and coordinate the world’s response to health emergencies. When a new coronavirus appeared in late 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was thrust into the spotlight, and used – by some – as a scapegoat for the failure to contain Covid-19.

The Geneva-based agency will again be the focus of media attention in late May when its decision-making body, the World Health Assembly, meets. High on the agenda will be proposals to improve emergency preparedness and ensure equitable access to vaccines.

But how much do we really know about the WHO? Who runs it, and how is its work paid for? What has it

View more

Lynx thrive in Switzerland 50 years after reintroduction

It’s been 50 years since lynx were reintroduced to the wild in Switzerland after dying out. ⁠

The species became extinct due to population growth leading to forest conversion and hunting. It is believed the last lynx in the Swiss Alps was killed in 1894.⁠

When large-scale deforestation came to an end, deer populations dramatically recovered, creating the right ecological conditions for a return. ⁠
About 14 lynx were transferred in the 1970s from the Carpathian Mountains to the Swiss Alps. Six lynx were also transferred in 2001 from the northwestern Swiss Alps to the eastern side. It’s estimated there are now about 250 of the wild cats in Switzerland, but scientists fear that the lack of contact between the separate populations could lead to a decrease in the gene pool, threatening

View more

A positive mindset through the Covid pandemic

The pandemic blues is affecting different age groups in many countries around the world, as people keep on fighting the third wave of Covid-19 and patiently wait for their dose of the vaccine. To help you overcome the fatigue we’ve asked our readers to share their own strategies for keeping a positive mindset amid the chaos.

In this episode, the third of our ‘Silver linings’ series, it’s all about staying sane by going insane and appreciating the natural beauty surrounding us.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website:

View more

What Switzerland and North Korea have in common


In both North Korea and Switzerland, the omnipresence of high mountains most probably affects the national psyche. An exhibition at the Alpine Museum in Bern investigates the similarities and differences between the two mountain nations, focusing not on politics but on people.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website: http://www.swissinfo.ch
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/swissinfovideos
Subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=swissinfovideos

View more

Tales of positivity to fight the covid blues

Last spring, when the coronavirus pandemic reached Switzerland, we asked you – our readers and viewers – to send us a video or voice message of your silver linings during this time of uncertainty.

A year later, we are reaching out to you again for your stories and perspectives. Have you had any positive experiences over the last year? Did you learn something new or develop strategies to make everyday life bearable despite the covid-19 restrictions and concerns? Did you find joy in something unexpected? How are you fighting off the covid blues?

In this second episode of Season 2 we find out who Pi and Palala are, what the curiosity for coding turned into and how home office became a blessing.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its

View more

The great Mars debate

Is human exploration of Mars worth the cost and the risk? Will we ever see the first man or woman on the surface of the Red Planet?

Following the launch of recent Mars missions with Swiss and international involvement, including the landing of the Perseverance rover, SWI swissinfo.ch put those questions to Sylvia Ekström of the University of Geneva and Pierre Brisson of the Swiss Mars Society in an online debate, hosted via Zoom.

These are highlights from the debate, in which Ekström’s co-author, Javier Nombela, also took part.

For Ekström and Nombela, it’s clear that the risks of a manned mission to the Red Planet outweigh the benefits. At the end of last year, they published the book ‘We won’t live on Mars, or anywhere else’, a paving stone in the form of a list of obstacles to a

View more

Pension reform in Switzerland: a democratic balancing act

The reform of pension systems is a pressing item on most political agendas worldwide. But in Switzerland, all major reform efforts since 2003 have failed. Is this a case of democracy hitting its limits? Political scientist Silja Häusermann explains how the mountain could be scaled.

Western countries all face the same scenario: the number of pensioners is going up, while the number of active workers – who finance these pensions – is going down by comparison. In Switzerland, the workings of the system needs to be adjusted so that old-age and survivors’ insurance payments – the core of the social finance model – remain guaranteed after 2030.

But the latest attempt at a reform again threatens to fall at the hurdle of the ballot box. During the recent spring parliamentary session, the Senate

View more

Fighting the pandemic blues – S02E01

Last year, as the coronavirus pandemic hit Switzerland, and the rest of the world, we asked our readers and followers to look at the bright side of those dark times. With the pictures and videos they sent us we compiled a season made of six episodes, filled with tiny moments of joy.

One year later the world is still fighting against covid-19, many countries have still enforced a lockdown and experts are warning of increased depressive feelings. We therefore decided to launch a new season of our positivity series. This time we asked people to share the strategies they’ve come up with to fight the covid blues.

In this first episode we hear about the power of gardening, see how a family traveled around the world seated at their kitchen table and discover a painter’s love for his adoptive

View more

Electric cars – how much cleaner are they?

Are electric vehicles really more eco-friendly than other types of cars? The Swiss TV consumer magazine ‘Kassensturz’ used a new climate calculator to find the answers, comparing the carbon footprints of electric cars with those of other types over the entire lifespan of the vehicles.

The tool was developed by the Touring Club Switzerland (TCS) automobile association.—

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website: http://www.swissinfo.ch
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/swissinfovideos
Subscribe:

View more

My brother dug me out of an avalanche

Two skiers who were lucky to have survived an avalanche released this video as a warning to others. It shows in detail how one of them nearly died. They admitted having "misjudged" the risks. Lake and Forrest Schorderet, two freerider brothers, were hit as they were skiing in the mountains near Saint-Luc in the canton of Valais. At least 27 people lost their lives in the Swiss Alps this winter.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website: http://www.swissinfo.ch
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/swissinfovideos
Subscribe:

View more

Swiss-EU relations hang in the balance

Discussions between the EU and Switzerland over the future of their bilateral relations could be on the verge of collapse. Over 100 bilateral treaties set the terms of relations between the two. These need updating. A framework agreement has been hammered out over seven years but there are sticking points and the deal is under fire from across the Swiss political spectrum.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website: http://www.swissinfo.ch
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/swissinfovideos
Subscribe:

View more