Locarno Springs in Australia, Zürichtal in Ukraine, and Nova Friburgo in Brasil: Travel journalist Petra Koci has visited these and twelve other locations with Swiss roots as part of her latest project. The outcome is a fascinating world map of quasi Swiss places – and the stories behind them.
Having lived in the American midwest, I was always fascinated by places like New Glarus in Wisconsin, Guggisberg in Ohio, or Vevay in Indiana.
Like many others, the Vevay settlement was founded by a Swiss immigrant. Koci followed the trail of Jean-Jacques Dufour, shares a detailed account of how this adventurer established vineries with connections all the way to the White House.
This patchwork of Swiss places and spaces extends way past North America, however: For Weltatlas der Schweizer Orte, Petra Koci and photographer Benno Gut traveled to more exotic Swiss outposts such as Villa Lugano, a neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina. There, she interviewed today’s locals about the present, the past and the future.
Offsprings of gold diggers, textile workers or cattle farmers, the portraits are about poverty and famine – or religious persecution. And in many cases, the only visible sign of Switzerland remains the name of the place.
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Limmat Verlag, German, 281 pages