Yannic Bartolozzi

National Redoubt

 

‘National Redoubt’ (Réduit National) is the name given by the Swiss army forces during World War II to describe their strategy of defense. It was to be put into action only if the enemy could cross the lines of defense and enter the territory beyond a certain point, if this point were reached then the plan of ‘National Redoubt’ would be put into effect. ‘National Redoubt’ meant abandoning all outlying territory and regrouping inside a small zone in the Alps. This zone which was connected to three networks of serious military infrastructures and underground fortresses would then serve as the country’s new primary line of defense, but also, as its last resort in the case of an attack. Luckily, the plan never required to be put into practice.

Fifty years later, most of the infrastructures that remain of ‘The National Redoubt’ have been abandoned, transformed into museums or sold to private buyers. I wanted to return to these vestiges from the past and rediscover them as an explorer might go into unchartered territory for the very first time. So I entered the mountain and walked the quiet and deserted corridors; the infrastructures expressed different meanings to me today. Inside the rock, and among the military infrastructures I found a dark and mysterious space. A secret that had long been forgotten.

 

Text: Yannic Bartolozzi // Translation: Marwan Bassiouni