CIXOUS, Hélène, ‘The Perjured City, Or the Awakening of the Furies’ in Selected Plays of Hélène Cixous, translated by Bernadette Fort and edited by Eric Prenowitz (London and New York: Routledge, 2004), 89–190; originally published as La Ville par jure, ou Le Réveil des Erinyes (Paris: Théâtre du Soleil, 1994)
GARAPON, Antoine, Bien juger essai sur le rituel judiciaire, Paris, Odile Jacob, 1997
HORSMAN, Yasco, Theaters of Justice. Judging, Staging, and Working Through
in Arendt, Brecht and Delbo. Stanford University Press, 2011
KELSEN, Hans, what is justice? Justice, Law and Politics in the mirror of science, University of Cali-fornia Press, Berkley and Los Angelos, 1957
KHALID, Amine, CARLSON, Marvin, “Post-Colonial Theatre in the Maghreb” in The Theatres of Mo-rocco, Algeria, and Tunisia: Performance Traditions of the Maghreb. New York: Palgrave Macmil-lan, 2012
Since the early Greek tragedy, courtroom spectacles of tragic-comic injustices have become famil-iar sources of entertainment. Many theatrical performances stage courtroom scenes, (re)present crime narratives, and re-enact trials in a playful context. Staging “injustice” or unstaging “Justice” in contemporary theatre were often set to confront the loss of values and the corruption of State institutions by deconstructing the juridical system in order to reconstruct a « fairness » alterna-tive. 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 the French playwright Hélène Cixous. Accord-ing to her, “Justice” (dyke) is ‘always out of joint’.
Indeed, to mete out justice, one must speak, testify, argue, prove, listen and decide. Justice is thus a speech ceremony where a conflict of arguments will resolve a conflict of violence. It’s therefore a « verbal battle » that involves a negotiation of narratives. Furthermore, staging crimes and trials provoke the debate on offenses, laws and penalization. Theatre is a tribunal in which the spectator does not only judge a character but can also reflect the foundations of Justice and the functioning of rights, duties, responsibility, legitimacy, violence, peace, extenuating or aggra-vating circumstances and punishment.
During the seminar, we will explore together a set of “Justice games” in order to learn how to construct, stage and perform legal fictions.
Get ready to fuel your commitment to “Justice” and to figure out ways to spread some “Equity” around!
Meriam Bousselmi studied Law and Political Science in Tunis. She's a lawyer registered to the National Order of Lawyers of Tunisia since 2010. Trained to work in different contexts and differ-ent languages, as an international jurist, writer, director, cultural expert and mediator, Bousselmi had the double opportunity/responsibility to conceive, manage and take part of wide-reaching artistic, cultural and legal projects in Africa, Europe, America and Asia. Through ongoing thought-provoking work, Bousselmi is constantly looking to provide fresh insights into a range of politicized topics surrounding social, political and economic inequalities. Her productions address the topic of instrumentalization, labelization and victimization in the construction of the current dominant intercultural-narratives. Her academic and artistic research rather focus on narratives of empow-erment and resistance.
In 2015, Bousselmi took part in the conception and drafting committee of the "Carthage Declara-tion for the Protection of Artists in a Vulnerable Situation". She was selected for the "Künstler-programm of DAAD Berliner 2016 " in Literature section.
Since 2017, Bousselmi have been working regularly with the ARTS RIGHTS JUSTICE Academy (Hil-desheim University) to lead workshops, write research articles and support different initiative dedicated to the consolidation of international cooperation in the field of Cultural Diversity and Artistic Freedom.