Justice – Fine Arts


Cristina Zerr

The Congo Tribunal, a project by Milo Rau & Eva-Maria Bertschy

Introductory remarks

How can we use art as a tool to intervene in the political reality of our societies?

„Justice is possible, here and now. We just have to establish it,“ claims the theatre director and author Milo Rau. In 2017 Milo Rau and Eva-Maria Bertschy staged a tribunal in Congo, exposing an almost forgotten portray of one of the most conflicted warzones of globalization. For The Congo Tribunal, they gathered victims, perpetrators and witnesses of the Congo War.

In this theatre process, real cases are debated – although the process itself remains fictitious and has no juridical consequences. With this project Rau and Bertschy continue a tradition of several tribunals that started in the 60ies, where Jean-Paul Sartre and Bertrand Russell organized the first Vietnam Tribunal, to investigate the war crimes of the US in Vietnam. Their aim is to seek truth and justice, by listening to all the perspectives and opinions of the people involved in the conflict.

In the class about JUSTICE we will discuss how art can contribute to justice. We will focus on The Congo Tribunal as an example of an artistic intervention that shows how theatre can become a political reality and therefore a changing force.