XX: Nous Accusons! People’s Tribunals between Politics, Activism & Art (with Lisa Ito-Tapang / Concerned Artists of the Philippines, Wolfgang Kaleck / ECCHR, Madlyn Sauer & Florian Malzacher)

Inspired by People’s Tribunals like the one organized by philosopher Bertrand Russell in 1966 to investigate American war crimes in the Vietnam war, but also by artistic influences such as Brecht’s learning plays or the popular agitprop theatre of the early Soviet Union, civic courts between activism and art have become a dramaturgical form and a political tool at the same time.

The 20th edition of The Art of Assembly looks at concrete attempts to turn exercises of symbolic justice into concrete change: Art historian and activist Lisa Ito-Tapang threads through different historic people’s tribunals in the Philippines fighting against state terrorism till today. Wolfgang Kaleck, founding director of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and lawyer of dissidents like Edward Snowden, gives insights into Milo Rau’s Kongo Tribunal and connects the political and artistical with the legal struggle for human rights all over the world. Activist author and artist Madlyn Sauer shows, how the non-governmental tribunals, convened parallel to the state trials against the far-right terror group NSU in Germany use aesthetic and transformative means to practice other forms of recognition and justice.