Katharina Vogel is in the middle of the Rathausbrücke. She seems a bit lost. Suddenly she pulls off her pants, it follows the blouse, eventually the bra ends up on the floor. Nude she stands there and then moves in slow motion. Passers-by shake their smartphones, the camera's journalists. A few school children giggle.
The 56-year old from Biel participates in the Body and Freedom Festival. From Thursday to Saturday, naked artists from all over Europe play at the Ratshausbrücke. The goal is to explore social interaction with the naked body. According to initiator Thomas Zollinger from Biel, "unusual situations have been created for passersby who undermine the repertoire of practiced behavior".
«People are extremely open in Zurich»
The festival took place in Biel in 2015. Even then, Vogel was already involved. "Most people liked it, but there were minor aggressions and complaints," she says. She was afraid that someone in Zurich would have to dance this way again. "But that did not happen." In Zurich people are extremely open: "You can handle it."
While politicians criticized the festival in advance, pedestrians in the city center take it easy. Vanessa Formisano, 31, for example, says: "It is good to be so free and to be able to show it." Nevertheless, she and her colleague Lina Wang (33) fear that this does not appeal to all tourists: "We have a lot of people from the Arab world here and for them this must be a culture shock."
Gurinder Sinam Gizz, a tourist from India, certainly has no problem with naked people. "Whatever they want to show, but nudity is something natural."
Zurichers love naked artists