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My roots...

… A feeling, a place, an activity, or people? Can you lose roots? Can you let roots grow? And what gives them nourishment? We posed these questions at the Human Rights Film Festival and invited all festival-goers to join the conversation by writing their perspective on the backside of a postcard. Now, on World Refugee Day, we share some submissions with you.

At Social Fabric, people from all over the world come together: locals, expats, and refugees. While we seek equality in our team and community, we are not blind to the differences in society. Depending on which permit one holds, people’s rights are either granted or limited. There are those who may move freely in the world and those who may not leave Switzerland. There are those who benefit from education and those who do not. There are those allowed to work and make an income and those who are not.

When we were asked by the Human Rights Film Festival Zurich to participate in their “CALL TO ACTION” program, those differences occupied our minds.

“Right to Equality” 
“Right to Education” 
“Right to Work (and to Desirable Working Conditions)” 
“Right to Free Movement”

These are only four of thirty articles set by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet, if only these four articles were respected for all people everywhere in the world, our work would be fundamentally different, and we would all have fundamentally different conditions, possibilities, and opportunities.

Even though being rooted is something essential, fundamental to being human, and described by social scientists to represent one’s social and political connection to society/community — there is no right to roots. Rather, human rights ought to be the soil and the nourishment for roots to develop. That’s why we took part in the Human Rights Film Festival with the interactive project “Rooted — Uprooted: Postcards Conversations”. To open a conversation, a dialogue, where a multitude of voices can tell their perspectives, without conclusions or judgments. What is needed to feel rooted? When does one feel uprooted?

The conversation remains open. You, too, can share your thoughts with us.


Quotes collected from our community and at the Human Rights Film Festival Zurich, 2024.

Text written by Barbara Imobersteg and Mari Kuuse

Collection of quotes by Barbara Imobersteg

Graphic design by Micaela Brazerol


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