Since the early greek tragedy, courtroom spectacles of tragic-comic injustices have become familiar sources of entertainment. Many theatrical performances stage courtroom scenes, (re)present justice, and (re)situate trial in a theatrical or playful context. Staging injustice or unstaging justice in comtemporary theatre were often set to confront the loss of values and the corruption of State institutions by decons-tructing the justice system in order to reconstruct a " faireness " alternative. In fact, justice should not be mixed with rules. Rules are only a forensic system of making justice in a particular context or culture. While justice is a value, a human capacity. And theatre-makers are often pointing out that " legal " doesn't mean " fair ". 'Legal justice is not ideal justice. It is a legally unjust justice', contests playwright Hèlène Cixous who argues that justice (dyke) is 'always out of joint'.
Performing (in)justice in theatre may thus offer possibilities for a new vision of justice as critical thinking and aesthitic strategies of political engagement and acti-vism. Staging crimes and trials provoke the debate on offenses, laws and penaliza-tion. The theatre is a tribunal in which the spectator does not only judge a character but can reflect also about the foundation and functioning of justice such as rights and duties, responsibility, legitimacy,violence, peace, extenuating or aggravating cir-cumstances and punishment.
During the seminar, we will explore how performances of justice have been represented or reenacted in theatre? What performative strategies used by theatre-makers to convince an audience of a specific narrative of (in) justice and what legal, political and social consequences do these plays and performances have? Does per-forming a trial, putting it on a show, pointing out the risky elements in it help to con-vince the target audience of a new sense of justice? Does it help the society, to cor-rect injustices, to restore peace?
The theatre-makers' visions of justice offer an exploration of diverse legal and ethical consciousness among the Arab and Western communities. Those perspec-tives will be analysed through the examination of some plays and performances such as "Rwanda 94, an attempt at symbolic reparation to the dead for the use of the li-ving" by the Belgian group Groupov. The task performance Please Continue (Hamlet) (2011) by Cie Yan Duyvendak. From Arab theatre, an interest will be accorded to "AraBerlin" (2002) by Tunisian theatre-makers: Jalila Baccar and Fadhel Jaibi. The lecture-performance Exercises on Trials (2016) by Cairo-based artists Jasmina Met-waly and Philip Rizk.
Let's investigate Together the contemporary theater makers' role in challenging jus-tice foundations and practices in Arab and Western cultures!
The seminar is hold in English language.
Meriam Bousselmi, born 1983 in Tunis, studied law and political science. She's a lawyer regis-tered to the bar of Tunis since 2010. In 2015 Meriam takes part in the commission of elaboration and drafting of the Declaration of Carthage for the protection of artists in Vulnerab-le situations. She was selected for the "Künstlerprogramm of DAAD Berliner 2016 " in literature section. In Berlin, she found the FOUNDOUKOLLECTIV in order to defend intellectual and creative effort regardless of the nationality of the creator and to support interculturality and multicultura-lism.