Embassy of Foreign Artists     

Founded in 2010, Laps works to promote contemporary cultural practices, in particular by managing venues, organising public events and collaborating with cultural players and institutions.

In 2009, Laps alerted the public authorities to the need to provide Geneva with a space for foreign artists, something that is lacking in an international city like Geneva. In 2011, the association obtained the use of the Maison Baron, owned by the State of Geneva, to set up this project. Laps is also at the origin of the platform for consultation on cultural venues and is leading a reflection on the place of culture in the city. In 2015, three of its members helped to found the cultural cooperative Ressources Urbaines. As a result of these various involvements, Laps has an excellent knowledge of Geneva’s cultural fabric.

In 2023, the association moved to Lancy.


Previous committee members :

Madeleine Amsler

Stefan Press

Matthias Solenthaler

Simone Toendury


Current regular committee members :

Barbara Giongo studied literature at the University of Padua. From 1995 to 1999 she worked at the Théâtre Saint-Gervais in Geneva as an administrative assistant, before becoming its communications officer. She then joined TSR as Florence Heiniger’s production assistant on the Fax Culture programme. From 2001, she worked with Oscar Gómez Mata of the L’Alakran company, where she was responsible for research, production and distribution. From 2009 to 2017, she gave the “Sensibilisation à la gestion de projets culturels” training course organised by the ARTOS association. She was selected to take part in the European SPACE programme (Supporting Performing Arts Circulation in Europe), a three-year continuing education course for 30 cultural managers, with the aim of encouraging exchanges between European countries. Since 2015, she has been teaching the ‘Implementation and production of an artistic project’ module at La Manufacture for students on the Theatre Masters course. In 2018, together with Nataly Sugnaux Hernandez, she became co-director of Le Grütli – Centre de production & diffusion des Arts vivants.


Anne-Laure Oberson studied photography in New York and art history in Geneva and London. She obtained her doctorate in philosophy in 2018 on the impact of electronic images in the perception of our environments. Trained as a curator at MoMA in New York from 1997, she went on to found and run galleries and exhibition spaces for young artists for several years. In 2005 she took over responsibility for cultural affairs at the HUG. In 2014 she became the first director of the Centre for the Arts at the International School of Geneva, and in 2018 she was appointed General Secretary of the Fluxum Foundation. After 20 years’ experience in Switzerland and abroad in programming and producing artistic events, writing and publishing books, and managing art collections, she specialises in cultural and social issues related to new image technologies, the digital enhancement of cultural heritage and the development of transdisciplinary art and science projects.


Members of the strategic committee :

Abena Lauber has 20 years’ professional experience in fundraising, strategic partnerships and event planning. For 6 years, she worked for Human Rights Watch as Associate Director of Development and Advocacy, organising their annual gala dinner which saw an impressive increase in funds raised over the years, reaching 2 million Swiss francs in 2014. She has also managed donor relations, initiated donor acquisition and implemented stewardship plans. Abena contributed to the creation of the Dr. Mukwege Foundation in Geneva and raised institutional funds for the foundation. Building on this experience, Abena founded A.CommUnity in 2017 to provide consultancy services to Swiss and international non-profit organisations.


Karine Tissot is a curator, art critic, publisher and expert on Swiss art, best known for her book Artistes à Genève, de 1400 à nos jours. She was responsible for commissioning public art at the FCAC and then founded the Centre d’art contemporain, Yverdon-les-Bains (CACY), which she directed from 2012 to 2020. She was then appointed head of cultural activities at the CHUV, before leaving to take up the position of cultural adviser for cultural policies and books at the Office cantonal de la culture et sport of the State of Geneva. She teaches in Switzerland and Europe and regularly publishes articles for scientific publications and journals. She was President of the Loterie romande from 2018 to 2021.


Michael Meier is Deputy Secretary General of the Finance Department of the Republic and Canton of Geneva. He is the State Council’s representative for the coordination and support of international organisations’ property projects. In the past, he has been a humanitarian affairs officer at the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs at the United Nations Secretariat-General in Geneva and team leader for climate change and disaster preparedness training for government officials. He was also Regional Coordinator for the NGO Service Civil International in Berne. He was also responsible for setting up the regional office in French-speaking Switzerland, developing and managing projects, recruiting and monitoring around a hundred volunteers a year, public relations and fundraising.

Matias Echanove is an urban planner specialising in participatory processes and urban planning. He is regularly invited to present his thoughts on urban planning at institutions such as EPFL, ETH, CEPT and Harvard GSD. With Rahul Srivastava, co-founder of urbz Mumbai, Matias frequently publishes articles in Domus (Milan), The New York Times, The Hindu, Times of India, the Oxford Encyclopaedia for Urban Planning and Economics, Oxford University Press Reader on Urban Planning and Economic Development, Strelka Press (Moscow) and, more recently, the Routledge Handbook of Asian Cities.