The images and messages in the holiday cards from the seven members of the Swiss government could not be more different from one another.
The tradition of sending holiday cardsexternal link doesn’t escape government ministers says Swiss public television RTS, which conducted a brief political and aesthetic analysis external linkof this year’s holiday cards.
Viola Amherd, who heads the Department of Defence and Sport, chose a "camouflage" motive in blue tones with contrasting silhouettes of various athletes. According to a press release, the minister’s niece designed the graphic, printed on 100% recycled paper. The card includes a quote about dreams and changes from poet Horst Bulla, who on social media says that he defends a society without war and that he loves life – a peaceful note from the defense minister.
From a distance, home affairs and health minister Alain Berset’s card looks like a glacier against a black sky. At a closer glance, it is a photograph of the Pompei historical site covered with a white tarp to protect it from bad weather. A poignant metaphor says the minister about the importance of protecting heritage to build the future. The photo was taken by Lausanne photographer Virginie Rebetez nominated for the Swiss Design Awards.
The two government ministers from the right-wing Swiss People’s Party Ueli Maurer and Guy Parmelin chose more traditional images according to RTS. Economics minister Parmelin chose a modified view of the Matterhorn with small Swiss crosses and golden symbols. His mantra for the new year: "Let’s dare to take a fresh look at what seems immutable."
Maurer, who held the rotating Swiss presidency in 2019, chose a series of traditional Swiss images including a fondue pot, skis and a cow with snow falling on a black backdrop.
The holiday card of the Justice and Police minister Karin Keller-Sutter also includes more straightforward imagery, opting for a drawing of young children from different racial backgrounds holding hands around a Christmas tree. The illustration was created for UNICEF by a 9-year-old girl from eastern Switzerland, where Keller-Sutter is from.
Simonetta Sommaruga, who will hold the rotating Swiss presidency in 2020, chose a photograph of two young trumpet players. A pianist herself, RTS assumes the photo is of children of a staff member.
Lastly, foreign minister Ignazio Cassis chose a photo of a mountain of salt in a storage shed, which according to the ministry represents the beauty as well as the independence of Switzerland. RTS writes that it is also a message about Switzerland’s role in the world like “salt in soup.”