Every year, Switzerland’s Federal Council publishes a photograph reflecting the theme for the year. This year’s theme is working well together despite differing points of view.
Federal Councillor Alain Berset, this year’s president, wants the picture taken by Vaud photographer Matthieu Gafsou to show that the members of the Federal Council can work well together despite differing points of view and that they are committed to working together for Switzerland.
The photo shows the seven members of the Federal Council and the Federal Chancellor at a large table forming a team, but also interacting in small groups.
The background symbolises the outside world and links the actions of the Federal Council with those of the people. For photographer Matthieu Gafsou the idea was inspired by paintings of the 17th century and the Düsseldorf school of photography. He gathered members of the Federal Council along with the Federal Chancellor in the Bernerhof, where the photo was taken.
On the table are a compass, a map of Switzerland and a bound copy of the Federal Constitution. In 2023, the Federal Constitution, on which the Federal Council bases its actions, will celebrate its 175th anniversary.
The pages flying through the air contain a poem by Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz. The flying leaves symbolise the chaos and tension in the world that feel much more present today than in the past.
“In a time of uncertainty and crisis the official Federal Council photo should convey stability and sobriety. It is intended to show that the Federal Council forms a unit and works well together even though its members have different points of view,” said Federal Councillor and president Alain Berset.