Lausanne is certainly one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe with almost one person in two hailing for other shores. To celebrate it’s 50th anniversary the Bureau Lausannois pour les immigrés has published Lausanne, une ville, un monde, featuring 50 interviews with non-Swiss residents.
From restauranteurs to travellers, from teachers to dancers – by the way of a certain English bookshop – the book highlights their dramas and successes in our lakeside town. Each interview is about a page long a features a portrait of the subject. Reading like a kind of tourist brochure to a town many of us are familiar with, it reveals a side of Lausanne that few of us have considered before.
What is striking is the myriad ways these immigrants have found a place in the city. The Romanian bus driver/publisher, the Eastern-European broadcaster and journalist who writes, “We are mosaics composed of pieces with different provenances”, the LGBTIQ+ asylum seekers. It seems that the world really is on our doorstep.
While the reality of daily life as an immigrant may not be as vibrant as the beautiful photos show, it’s a measure of Lausanne’s attitude towards immigrants that they have published this book celebrating the contribution of non-Swiss to civil society. If you wish to be surprised, informed, uplifted, then this is the book for you.
It’s available in the bookshop for CHF 22. The shop is featured on page 32 – The place to be du lectorat anglophone, according to the title!