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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal National Identities
Volume (Issue) 18(1)
Page(s) 53 - 69
Title of proceedings National Identities


The article shows how powerful colonial discourses are in Switzerland, especially with regard to popular narratives on national identity. It starts with the Swiss Dhaulagiri expedition of 1960, which led to the first ascent of this Himalayan mountain, and how it is remembered 50 years later. The paper examines how in the discourse surrounding this expedition, the colonial trajectory of mountain climbing is linked to the use of technology (in this case aviation) and the emergence of white masculinity. It is argued that up to the present day, this ‘techno-colonialism’ is crucial for the self-conception of Switzerland.