Literature : The Shining Heart 心照

Médiathèque / AF Library, Jordan Centre
Jeudi, 2 mars / Thursday
, 2 March
7:30 - 8:30 pm
en français, anglais et cantonais / in French, English and Cantonese
Tout public / for all ages 
Gratuit ; RSVP obligatoire / Free ; RSVP necessary

A discussion about literary exchange between Hong Kong and Switzerland 

Soirée AJAR - 心照 - sam1 ziu3 

The shining heart Literary project between Swiss and Hongkongese authors with Karine Yoakim Pasquier, Dorothy Tse, and Eva Wong.


The Chinese expression 心照 - as the French expression "à demi-mot" - means that two people understand each other without having to speak. Through writing, this project aims at establishing a literary exchange between Hong Kong and Swiss authors.

The regions of Hong Kong and Switzerland, unlike monolingual territories, have several official languages and have built their cultures around very diverse customs and traditions. If multilingualism is a real asset, it also raises challenges: how to build one’s imaginary and cohesion in a place where everything is inexorably intertwined but expressed in different ways. Beyond languages, Hong Kong and Switzerland have other features in common: both are small territories with a population of 8 million. Both are mountainous areas and lie at the crossroads of major international socio-economic exchanges. This collaboration would allow us to explore the themes of language diversity, multicultural exchanges and construction, in places where our own mother tongues are only one means of communication among others. The project will produce a polyphonic narrative that will be published in French and Chinese. The project will begin during the Francophonie Week 2023 and will end one year later, at the Francophonie Week 2024.

Project Description 

Hong Kong’s and Switzerland’s territories share many common features. Multilingualism is a primary one. Swiss national languages include German, French, Italian and Romansh, while people in Hong Kong commonly interact in Chinese-Cantonese, Chinese-Mandarin, and English. Both territories are small and surrounded by prominent natural features — mountains or sea, reservoirs or lakes. In this context, the goal of the project is to connect writers from the French-speaking part of Switzerland (Romandie) with Cantonese- speaking writers from Hong Kong.

In this context, the languages that will be used during this collaboration (French and Cantonese) will be our entry points to explore customs, writing habits and representations that feed larger territorial and cultural entities, namely Switzerland and China. Initial exchanges among artists have highlighted a common desire to examine tales, myths and expressions related to their respective cultures, as well as to explore language and multilingualism, in order to develop a common imaginary and devise a story which will mix and outgrow both groups’ realities. Each step will entail a close collaboration among artists. The overall exchange will take place in English, while the texts will be written in French and in Traditional Chinese.

Come join us on our opening night for a discussion on the occasion of the Francophonie Festival.


Over 15 artists will be involved in this project in three countries, including Hongkongese writers and a delegation of a Swiss collective of writers.

AJAR ( is a literary collective that brings together 13 French-speaking authors from Switzerland and Canada. The collective, which was born in January 2012 in the form of a non-profit association, practices collaborative writing and promotes a professional approach to literary production. AJAR creates performances (multivoices dynamic readings, integrating music and video projection), publishes texts on various media, leads writing workshops and sets up projects that aim to open up literature to other arts and to take it outside the book support. AJAR has offered over 100 public interventions (throughout Switzerland but also in France, Italy, Germany, Russia, Poland, Quebec and the United States) et major literary meetings, events in bookstores and libraries, festivals or other cultural events, either on invitation or on its own initiative.
With a view to exploring the potential of literary creation as a group, and questioning the status of the author, AJAR published a collective novel, Vivre près des tilleuls. In 2022, AJAR is composed of Linda Bühler, Joanne Chassot, Julie Guinand, Danica Hanz, Nicolas Lambert, Julie Mayoraz, Mélody Pralong, Manon Reith, Hugo Saint-Amant, Lydia Schenk, Daniel Vuataz, Vincent Yersin et Karine Yoakim Pasquier.

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