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A microcosm on the north-south axis

It’s a thoroughfare for travellers, a transport route for freight, a transit axis between north and south, and a part of the journey for the countless commuters who live nearby. Two Swiss photographers have discovered a microcosm on the A2 motorway from Basel to Chiasso – a slice of life not usually noticed by the millions of travellers who pass by.

Eight service areas and numerous picnic areas line the 295-kilometre A2 motorway. Forty-two tunnels and viaducts make it possible to easily pass gorges and mountain ranges. The road leads through a varied and in some places unique landscape. But most travellers don’t look further than the crash barriers. They want to reach their destination as quickly as possible – without interruptions or disturbances.

Photographers Franca Pedrazzetti and Beat Brechbühl spent two months on the north-south axis getting to know the people whose daily lives are linked to it. They began to understand just how big the apparatus is behind our seemingly simple understanding of mobility.

(Photos: Franca Pedrazzetti, Beat Brechbühl; Text: Monique Rijks and

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR