The aim of the SAAR is to make Switzerland's long-standing ties to Russia better known in the country. It acknowledges and fosters the efforts of the different stakeholders to promote Swiss-Russian links throughout history. The SAAR consists of 2 distinctive prizes:
- The historical prize: awarded to a Russian person or institution that is actively enhancing the historical heritage between Switzerland and Russia (i.e. see on our interactive map the portrait of the SAAR winner 2021 - the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore named after O.E. Clerc);
- The contemporary prize: awarded to a Russian person or institution, currently leading an innovative collaboration with a Swiss partner, and contributing to the contemporary strengthening of the cultural ties between Switzerland and Russia (winner 2021 - “Smena” Centre for Contemporary Culture in Kazan).
The prizes will be awarded annually to an institution or a person in September during the Swiss Days, organized in Moscow by the Embassy of Switzerland.
The prizes consist of five elements:
- Each prize is worth 2000 CHF and is awarded to an institution or person.
- The awarded institutions or persons will receive an official plaque in recognition of their commendable contribution to Swiss heritage in Russia.
- The awarded institutions or persons will be portrayed on the website of the Embassy of Switzerland and highlighted on the interactive map indicating places of Swiss heritage in Russia.
- The awarded institutions or persons will receive a contribution from the Embassy of Switzerland for the realization of an event on the theme of the Swiss heritage they represent. According to the sanitary situation, this might be a public conference, a presentation, a concert (in the premises of the Embassy or elsewhere) or an exhibition and should be conducted until the end of 2022.
- The awarded institutions or persons and the Swiss heritage they represent will be largely promoted through the social media channels of the Embassy.
Jury and selection criteria
The award winners will be selected by a jury, composed of 5 persons well-acquainted with various aspects of Swiss-Russian relations. In a first selection phase, the jury will short-list institutions or persons among the applicants. The short-listed applicants will present orally to the jury their projects during a 30-minutes audition, which will take place in July 2022. Based on the application file and the result of the audition, the jury will finally select the award-winning institutions or persons.
The main selection criteria are:
- The willingness, ability and prospects to showcase Swiss-Russian ties in the framework of the institutions or persons activities
- The quality of the institutions or persons track record in their relevant field
- The importance of the Swiss element in this track record
- The accessibility of the public to the Swiss-Russian ties presented
- The innovative character of their approach and the potential of the legacy for posterity
All interested Russian institutions or persons that promote historical or contemporary Swiss-Russian cultural relations are welcome to participate by filling the application form until 30 May 2022.
Please note that the SAAR candidates, if they are pre-selected by the jury, agree to participate in SAAR audition in July 2022. The format of the auditions will be determined according to the sanitary situation. If the auditions take place in presence in Moscow, travel cost will be reimbursed.