Swiss theatre director Milo Rau stages a fictitious court to search for truth and justice in the deadly conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Involving actual protagonists, it becomes clear that the country is trapped in a complex web of exploitation, corruption and violence that is very hard to escape.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been at an almost constant civil war since 1996, causing millions of deaths and many more refugees. At the centre of the conflict are the country’s vast mineral supplies, such as gold, diamonds and coltan – used in our mobile phones. In The Congo Tribunal, Swiss theatre director Milo Rau works with the people of the DRC who were involved in the conflict to analyse its causes.
In this special project, Rau sets up a fictitious tribunal on a public stage in the city of Bukavu. Two judges from the International Criminal Court in The Hague preside over the court, which hears many of the people involved. We hear from people who were robbed of their land by mining companies, from experts and from government ministers. But when responsibility is carried by so many players – from the transnational mining companies to corrupt government officials, violent militias and passive UN peacekeeping troops – can justice really be done?
Selected by Tineke Ceelen (Weapon of Choice).