Creative Commune – Workshop in Berlin for the method of citizens’ tribunals

From 10 to 15 July 2023, we met in Berlin for the Creative Commune project on the method of citizens’ tribunals on the model of the Russell Tribunal. This model was held in Stockholm in 1967 on the initiative of Bertrand Russell and under the direction of Jean-Paul Sartre to judge the United States for its involvement in the Vietnam War.

Reminder of the aim of the Creative Commune project

Creative Commune aims to develop practical artistic tools for NGOs and citizen groups in Europe. These tools are based on artistic methods (writing, theatre, sound, image, etc.) to create creative conferences and artistic works.

Creative Commune aims to create a space for reflection and creation capable of stimulating the creative fever of a “community” within the timeframe of a project.

The aim of the workshop in Berlin

Our workshop was based on a series of lectures on the themes of theatre and justice: The performance-trial as a symbolic act of citizenship; The representation of post-war trials in documentary theatre, etc. It also drew on the methods of the Theatre of the Oppressed theorized by Augusto Boal in staging plays for actors and non-actors.

The central theme of the Berlin workshop was the organization and holding of a citizens’ trial based on an emblematic German case. The week included various workshops to prepare for the trial, which took place at the end of the course. The German case chosen touched on the issue of the separation and reunification of the two Germanies, and consequently on the question of the common good and how it was ‘made’, particularly through a judicial system. It also examined justice in its role as a ‘factory of the common

The workshop schedule

The workshop followed a set of rules for the performance-trial.
The case was presented during the sessions.
There were lectures on theater and justice led by Rémi Astruc and Antonin from the University of Cergy.
Baptiste Barriera provided the historical background on the construction of the Berlin Wall.
Roles and tasks were assigned, followed by the first workshop session.
A visit to the Bernauerstr and Wall Memorial was organized.
Frédéric Barriera discussed the performance-trial as a symbolic act of citizenship.
Mascha Neumann focused on the NSU-Tribunal. The NSU-Tribunal was a trial and investigation that aimed to uncover the acts of violence committed by the far-right extremist group National Socialist Underground (NSU) in Germany.
The representation of post-war trials in documentary theater was explored by Frédéric Barriera.
Frédéric Barriera also conducted a session on theater and justice.
The performance-trial was open to the public.
At the end of the week, there was a review of all the workshops organized by Creative Commune.


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