Autonomous School Zurich

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Autonomous School Zurich
Autonome Schule Zürich.svg

Autonomous School Zurich (ASZ, Autonome Schule Zürich in German) is a grassroot project in Switzerland. This school is run by immigrants as well as Swiss locals. Since 2009 the association "Bildung für Alle" provides education for all under the shelter of the Autonomous School Zurich. On offer are diverse educational and cultural activities for everyone both for undocumented refugees, the socially excluded and all other interested people. ASZ is located at Sihlquai 125. Before that the its facility was always precarious: ASZ moved at least 11 times in Canton Zurich:

  1. Manessestrasse
  2. Infoladen/Kasama
  3. Kalki
  4. GZ Wollishofen
  5. Bad Allenmoos
  6. Gessenerallee/Stall6
  7. Badenerstrasse
  8. Hubertus
  9. Rote Fabrik
  10. PANAMA (Güterbahnhof)
  11. Badenerstrasse
  12. Bachmattstrasse
  13. Sihlquai 125

Autonomous school as educational and cultural hotspot[edit]

Autonomous School is a unique meeting point. People from all over the world play an active role. Among the courses on offer are German, Spanish, Arabic, Mathematics, English, Yoga and Computing courses like Java programming and Gimp. The school organizes dances like capoeira. There is a wide range of cultural activities (concerts, bar, cinema, etc.) and the triweekly community dinner to make the school a popular meeting place where experiences are shared and ideas can be developed. It's an escape from everyday isolation that has been imposed on rejected asylum seekers.

The project is dedicated to help the emancipation process of the sans-papier groups and demand their rights. ASZ is dependent on donations from well wishers. There are theatre and drama performed by members of the school in conjunction with other actors from other institutions.

Other autonomous school projects run in Biel/Bienne, Bern [1], St. Gallen, Winterthur and Frauenfeld (all in Switzerland) and Butare (Rwanda).


The Association "Education for All" occupied a church in December 2008 to push home the need for German courses for the sans-papiers. A squatted house at Manessestrasse with lot of space dedicated for workshops called itself "Autonomous School Zürich" hosted "Education for All" henceforward. After the eviction of the location Bad Allenmoos it remained clear that it's one joint project. Started by just few people in 2009, the ASZ grew continuously and is hosting today (March 2017) up to 7 courses simultaneously, over 500 participants each week, 15 active working-groups and over 100 activists moderating courses and organizing the school voluntarily. [2]

Since 2010 a group of ASZ-activists is working on a platform called Openki that helps with the organization of the courses, lowers the barrier to participate and interconnects a variety of like-minded organizations. [3]

Since 2010 there is a yearly printed Newspaper published by the ASZ called "Papierlosezeitung"[4]. Since 2013 it is distributed by the Newspaper WOZ


  1. ^
  2. ^ "ASZ-Homepage History". Bildung-fuer-Alle. 2017-04-07. Retrieved 2017-04-07. 
  3. ^ "Openki - Course Organization Platform". Verein KOPF. 2017-04-07. Retrieved 2017-04-07. 
  4. ^ "PapierloseZeitung PDF-Archive". Bildung-fuer-Alle. 2017-04-07. Retrieved 2017-04-07. 

External links[edit]