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Project Innosuisse | “Building a Character”

Project directed by the Accademia Dimitri, in collaboration with the Centre of Competences welfare, Work and Society and the Centre of Practical Skills and Health Policies of DEASS-SUPSI

Project Innosuisse | “Building a Character”

“Building a Character”

Image and current affairs of the performing arts professions in Italian-speaking Switzerland
Project directed by the Accademia Dimitri, in collaboration with the Centre of Competences welfare, Work and Society and the Centre of Practical Skills and Health Policies of DEASS-SUPSI
Project partners: Osservatorio culturale del Cantone Ticino, ScenaSvizzera, Fondazione La Fabbrica, Duo Full House, Compagnia Teatro Paravento
The project is supported by Innosuisse - Swiss Agency for the Promotion of Innovation

The working environment of professional and professional performing artists in Italian-speaking Switzerland is little known. Research on the working conditions of female artists and performing artists in Switzerland contains little data on Italian-speaking Switzerland, compared to more information on French-speaking and German-speaking Switzerland. This partial knowledge of the professional field, linked to the presence of stereotypes and prejudices in the artistic field (e.g. the vision of the artist who became such by "vocation" and putting to use "natural talents")contributes to the lack of recognition of the professional activity of artists and artists. This has concrete effects for those who want to carry out a trade in the field, such as - among many others - the difficulty of obtaining a cachet or a salary worthy for a professional/ a and/ or the proposal to work in black.

The pandemic crisis has further highlighted this fragile situation of artists. There are artists who have failed to meet the requirements for access to support measures (under the law of the promotion of culture and the ordinance Covid-culture) and social insurance, for little knowledge of the system of ordinary subsidies, extraordinary measures and social security, but also for the characteristics linked to their working situation (intermittent and multi-activity work, low annual income), which do not meet the criteria for access to social insurance, based on the criterion of full-time employment with an open-ended contract.

Project content and objectives
The research project is proposed by the research sector of the Dimitri Academy, in collaboration with the Job, Welfare and Company-DEASS Competence Center and with the Center for Practical Skills and Health-PolicyDEASS of SUPSI, and intends to examine the profession and the life situation of the artists of the scene (actresses and actors, dancers and dancers, artists and circus artists, clowns...) active in Italian Switzerland.

The first important step is to achieve a mapping of the arts sector of the scene in Italian Switzerland, today not fully known: this goal will be achieved thanks to the application of an innovative sampling plan, non-probability, called Respondent Driven Sampling RDS, which will allow to circumscribe the scope and give a definition that takes into account the vision of the artists/s. Thanks to the data obtained through RDS sampling, it is intended to give voice to professionals/ and understand the characteristics of the profession and professional paths, with attention to lesser-known types (such as physical theater), examining individual conditions, structural and social activities. In order to photograph the professional reality, data will be collected on the route (e.g. the level of employment and its persistence and variability over time), the status (independent/employee), the types of contracts concluded, income, access to social insurance, ordinary and extraordinary subsidies, also taking into account the notion of professional identity.
Particular attention should be paid to the meaning attributed to the terms used by the respondents, for example what does professional artist mean in the words of the interviewee/a?
This aspect will be essential to bring out the dialectic between the professional identity defined by the people interviewed, the stereotypes and prejudices related to the artistic professions of the performing arts and the conditions given by the legal bases, the social security system and the labour market.

Impact of the project
The survey will allow to give a clearer and more detailed knowledge and visibility to artists/ and the scene of Italian Switzerland, encouraging a general awareness of public opinion. The pandemic crisis has shown how fundamental it is to know and understand the characteristics and nuances of a profession, to provide quantitative and qualitative data useful for the dialogue between institutions and the art scene.
The knowledge of the professional reality resulting from the project will allow to provide important data to professional associations and cultural promotion, as well as to all those working in the sector, and to support them in the following tasks:
* contribute to the defence of the professions of the performing arts so that they are recognized as professional activities, counteracting phenomena such as those of precariousness and undeclared work;
* develop strategies and tools for targeted communication in the dissemination of information on ordinary benefits, extraordinary measures and social insurance;
* develop guidelines and training proposals so that artists/s (at the study stage or already active/and professionally) can have educational content on labour market aspects, the promotion of culture and the social security system.
The results achieved may also form the basis for a subsequent project, which addresses the issue of social security for artists/ and with an inter-cantonal perspective.


Team di progetto

Accademia Dimitri

Demis Quadri, professore e responsabile settore Ricerca & Servizi: Responsabile progetto

Veronica Provenzale, ricercatrice: Capo progetto

Angela Calia, ricercatrice

Centro competenze lavoro, welfare e società-DEASS

Spartaco Greppi, professore e responsabile del centro di competenza

Danuscia Tschudi, ricercatrice senior

Centro competenze pratiche e politiche sanitarie-DEASS

Christine Butti, professoressa aggiunta

Angela Lisi, docente-ricercatrice senior

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