The Congo Tribunal (Part 2): The Berlin Hearings

Sophiensaele, Berlin, Germany
26 Jun 2015 - 28 Jun 2015

The Congo Tribunal (Part 2): The Berlin Hearings

The Sophiensaele Berlin present the second part of the Congo Tribunal a production of Milo Rau / International Institute Of Political Murder (Iipm)

Milo Rau’s theatre and film project “The Congo Tribunal” convenes in the tradition of Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Vietnam Tribunal” in Bukavu – the “World Capital of Rape” – and in Berlin – the city of the historical Africa Conference of 1885. More than 60 witnesses and experts investigate the causes and backgrounds to the 20 year ongoing war in Eastern Congo – one of the richest regions of natural resources in the world.

Triggered by the Rwandan genocide of 1994 and based on the direct or indirect involvement of all of the great powers of our time, the Congo War, also referred to as the « Third World War », has claimed up to six million lives. Many observers not only see in it a fight about political predominance in Central Africa, but also one of the most decisive economic division-battles in the era of globalization. While the number of rebel armies involved may be intransparent, even more intransparent are the arms dealers operating in the supply lines, the role of foreign diplomats and humanitarian relief organizations, but also the involvement of multinational mining companies. Will one of the biggest and bloodiest economic wars of human history decide the future order of the global community? In the form of a tribunal with an international cast in Eastern Congo (May 2015) and in Berlin (June 2015), the project « The Congo Tribunal » examines the causes and backgrounds for this, a war now ongoing for almost 20 years in the Great Lakes region. A humanly harrowing, profound analytic tableau of the neo-colonial world order.

CONCEPT, SCRIPT, DIRECTION Milo Rau RESEARCH, CASTING Eva-Maria Bertschy SCENOGRAPHY Anton Lukas SOUND Jens Baudisch COMPANY MANAGEMENT Mascha  Euchner-Martinez, Eva-Karen Tittmann RESEARCH ON LOCATION Chrispin Mvano, Kris Berwouts, Jean-Moreau Tubibu ASSISTANCE DIRECTION, RESEARCH Mirjam Knapp HEAD OF TRIBUNAL Jean-Louis Gilissen, Sylvestre Bisimwa COURT CLERK Kathrin Röggla VIDEO Marc Stephan


Tribunal Performance : The Berlin Hearing

June 26th 19:00-21:00
June 27th 12:00-15:00 / 17:00-20:00
June 28th  14:00-20:00

Opening Session (Friday 19:00 – 21:00)
Introductory Speeches 
Summary of the results from the Bukavu Hearings
Explanation of the rules and the objectives of the tribunal

Session 1: Responsibility of the Multinational Companies and the World Bank (Saturday 12:00 -15:00)

The different measures – like the Dodd-Frank Act or the OECD guidelines – designed to stem the trade and processing of so-called “conflict minerals” from Eastern Congo, to date seem to above all serve the cultivation of the image of the electronics in-dustry, while local conditions have barely improved. Instead the Congolese mine workers are displaced by multinational companies who profited during the war, acquiring concessions under favoura-ble conditions. Key Question: Are the companies responsible for the human rights violations in Eastern Congo or do they in fact contribute to the stabilisation of the region?

Session 2: Responsibility of the EU, its Member States and Switzerland (Saturday 17:00 – 20:00) 

While the sanctions against “conflict minerals” affect the Congolese artisanal miners in particular, the multinational companies are scarcely held responsible for the violation of human rights in Con-go. In view of the increasing need for natural resources in western industrial countries, the regulation policies of the EU in Central Africa presumably conduce to the security of future consumption. Thus the “clean” energy policies of the industrial states rely on a neo-colonial outsourcing of all “dirty” primary industries, accom-panied by a massive resettlement programme.

Key Question: Are the multinational companies not prosecuted for their human rights violations because their involvement in Africa is necessary for Europe’s current energy policies?

Session 3: Responsibility of the NGOs and the United Na-tions (Sunday 14:00 – 17:00) 

In Congo, like many other former colonies, independence could never cultivate a stable government – let alone a functioning civil society. The ruined traditional and civil society structures and ab-sent state monopolies have been superseded by western financed parallel structures: the NGOs and the UN peace missions. They currently find themselves in a crisis of legitimacy. Denounced as merely self-sustaining, fatally entangled in the respective power systems.

Key Question: Is the peace-keeping policy of the international community in the field responsible for the continuing conflict by stabilising the status quo?

Closing Speech (Sunday 18:00 – 20:00)



A movie- and theatre project by Milo Rau/IIPM – International Institute of Political Murder in co-production with Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHDK) and SOPHIENSÆLE. Funded by the Mayor of Berlin – Senatskanzlei – Kulturelle Angelegenheiten, the Hauptstadtkulturfonds, the Goethe Institut Johannesburg and the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. Friendly supported by Brussels Airlines. media partner: taz.die tageszeitung