Aloha everybody! My name is Philippe Stalder, I am a travelling journalist from Switzerland. On the 1st of August I officially became an Auslandschweizer, a term that we use for citizens whose residency is located outside of Switzerland. I deregistered from my community in order to travel from Zurich to South East Asia with as little airplanes as possible. On this journalistic travel blog I´m disclosing my experiences and impressions from this trip in the form of reports and interviews – whenever the internet connection permits.
How it all started
The great french poet and thinker Victor-Marie Hugo once stated:
“Nothing is more powerful than an idea which has reached its time.”
I´ve been dreaming about embarking on a journey around the world ever since I was a kid. However, I had to go through some formative stages of life, before I was ready to leave home with nothing but a backpack and a notebook at the ready. I shall shortly recapitulate the most important of them.
From musical to journalistic ambitions
Music was my first love. Together with my partners in crime, I spent ten carefree years in the band room of our Bluesrock-Band Drunken Shrimps in Zug, Switzerland´s train town.
It wasn´t until I moved to Zurich for my BA in media science that I started freelancing for a couple of local newspapers, covering concerts, exhibitions and sports events. After I got kicked out of an internship during a short excursion into a renowned PR-agency in Zurich, I realized that advertisement is not the best place for rockstars, so I tried my first steps as a gonzo-journalist for VICE magazine.
Swiss squatters resisted eviction with a 3000-person protest party. Rubber bullets and teargas ensued: http://t.co/6AfnQN6UVT
— VICE (@VICE) 8. März 2013
Soon I was hooked on ink and I decided to leave Switzerland in order to study journalism in Aarhus (DK) and Amsterdam (NE).
On to new horizons
The international composition of this MA allowed me to reflect, together with 80 journalists from 45 countries, upon the chances and challenges of the new forms of journalism in the 21st century. The studies furthermore included a foto journalism course with the Afghan war photographer Imal Hashemi, who taught us about the importance of framing.
Taking down the tents
After returning home from my time abroad, I produced a short documentary for motherboard (VICE) and enlisted at the daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger as a news editor. Yet, the fast rhythm of up-to-the-minute online journalism became a little too hectic for me, so in the summer of 2015 I decided to take down my tents again and to travel across the world as Auslandschweizer henceforth.
To be continued…