Die Mitte des Volkes
In der Mitte des Volkes (“amidst the people”) it is always the same: As soon as the image of federal councilman Blocher has hit the news, the photographers disappear again. As soon as party president Maurer has spoken the final word, the journalists snap their notebooks shut. The media has done its duty and reported on the SVP event. But the really important questions remain unanswered. Who are the people behind Blocher, Maurer and Mörgeli, the people who vote for the SVP? What leads them to do this? And how does the party manage to get a third of the Swiss population enthusiastic about its ideas?
The photographer Fabian Biasio spent four years seeking answers to these questions. He photographed the SVP’s meetings, celebrations and parties, including the Albisgüetli Congress, the Buure-Zmorge and the Jasscup. His photos present an intimate view inside a world in which people find a place of security and a home that the church, the company and the family could not provide. It offers them not only their desired sense of clarity but also satisfies their fundamental emotional needs. Here the handshake is firm, the music is loud and the schnitzel is big. And nothing reinforces their sense of unity more than the defiant knowledge that they embody the only real Switzerland. Everyone else—especially the media—is a traitor willing to sell off the Swiss to the next best bidder.
With her reporting and portraits, the journalist Margrit Sprecher completed the journey of discovery into the SVP’s core. She visited farmers, workers, teachers, carpenters, chauffeurs, and business people and let them describe their world and lives. What she encountered was hardly a bunch of failures, outsiders, lonely and old people fearing any form of change. Instead she found Swiss of every class who, when faced with their own powerless, decided to join the SVP. In some cases an unfair court verdict or the predatory tax office was the clincher; others had been victimized by foreigners or disappointed by another party. In fact, the SVP has achieved much of its success through the deficits of the SP, CVP and FDP. It is an expedition to an unfamiliar Switzerland that has never before been photographed or described and which is barely present in the media.
Most beautiful Swiss book 2007