Brian is the most famous inmate in Switzerland. No newspaper, no television format in Switzerland has not reported on the “Carlos case”. “Carlos” became synonymous with “homicidal,” “social delusion,” and “cozy justice,” and thus the projection surface of a media landscape that increasingly relies on clickbait. For this lucrative business, the Blick editorial team even created its own column “Case Carlos”. As the media theater grew more grotesque, costing one government councilman his job, public pressure affected the conditions of Brian’s imprisonment, who was not even twenty at the time. Eight years later, he is back and still in prison — isolation for three years — which has even drawn the attention of the UN Special Rapporteur.

#BigDreams opens a new chapter in the media theater surrounding Brian’s case. This time the script does not follow the dramaturgy of the tabloid press, but appropriates it. How can and must a democratic society respond to this? The #BigDreams project explores this question with the means of art in five acts.

“If Brian dies in prison, democracy dies.”
(an expert who remains anonymous)


what happened so far:

Prologue: We look
#BigDreams started in May with a prologue in front of the Zurich High Court. While Brian’s imprisonment and possible custody were being negotiated, some media outlets continued to unflinchingly negotiate their narratives about “Carlos the Intense Offender,” which had been established since 2013. With their Critical Newsticker, #BigDreams create a counter-perspective, comment the reporting critically with regard to racism and take a stand on the court case.

Act 1: My name is Brian
In ACT 1, Brian himself speaks. My_name_is_Brian is the name of Brian’s Instagram channel, which he runs live from solitary confinement. Follow Brian!

In the 2nd ACT, Brian’s experiences and media criticism merge into real fiction: For years, Blick has earned millions with the label “Carlos”. But now Brian is claiming his rights to this “million dollar clickbait baby” and selling «Carlos»-Productshimself. The proceeds will one day be used to buy out Blick so that something like this can never happen again.

In ACT 3, #BigDreams focuses on Brian’s prison regime today: the consequence of the toxic interplay of media, politics, and publicity that resulted in a prison system that violated human rights. With the installation “SWISS QUALITY TORTURE”, urban squares in the canton of Zurich are played and the public is confronted with the consequences of the media theater that has been going on for eight years: How can and must a democratic society react to torture in the Zurich penal system?


After the 3rd act Swiss Quality Torture #BigDreams comes on stage at Neumarkt:
From November 16 to 19, artists, scientists and activists will work, discuss and perform at Neumarkt on Brian’s Big Dreams for a discrimination-free society, against state torture for a democratic constitutional state.


#BigDreams is a diverse collective of artists, activists, and scholars who have been working on Brian’s case for the past year and a half and formed specifically for this purpose. Brian himself is a member of #BigDreams, all formats were conceived and implemented together with him.


Wilson Adebayo, Sabina Aeschlimann, Sebastian Aeschlimann, Joshua Amissah, tobibienz, Bite Toys, Benjamin Burger, Brandy Butler, Giulia Cudini, Jacqueline Daunois, Yuvviki Dioh, Jamin Eberhard, Rahel El-Maawi, Julie Fischer, Thomas Galli, Hannah Gottschalk, Mariana Grünig, Daniela Guse, Anouk Haueter, Helmhaus Zürich, humanrights.ch, Dr. Brigitte Hürlimann, Brian Keller, Fritzi König, Kunstraum Walcheturm, Michael Meili, Fatima Moumouni, David Mühlemann, Mbene Mwambene, Lelah Neary, Theater Neumarkt: Dramaturgie, Kommunikation, Werkstätten & Ensemble, Elmira Oberholzer, Victoria Papagni, Edwin Ramirez, Daniel Riniker, Dimitri Rougy, Gonzalo Silva, Jolanda Spiess-Hegglin, Paula Ursprung, Reto Volkart, Mohamed Wa Baile, Eva Willenegger, Claudia Wilopo

Julia Reichert

Eneas Nikolai Prawdzic

Brian Keller

Eva Willenegger

Daniel Riniker

Jacqueline Daunois

Mbene Mwambene

Sebastian Aeschlimann


Sabina Aeschlimann

Benjamin Burger