Artists Remake the World
The Series

The Series : « Art, poetry and international justice »

Since 2014, Julien Seroussi, a social science researcher, and Franck Leibovici, an artist and poet, have been conducting an unprecedented experiment. Their project, law intensity conflicts, stems from Julien Seroussi’s observations as a legal assistant at the Katanga/Ngudjolo trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, between 2009 and 2014. This experiment, which they call “inquiry-artwork”, uses the tools of art, documentary poetry (poetry that no longer focuses on the “text” as a unit of meaning, but on the “document” as an artifact with pragmatic effects) and the social sciences to analyse and attempt to change the ICC’s current practices of processing materials. The tools take the form of installations, books, workshops and radio interventions. They are intended to be used by Court professionals, as well as by affected communities and researchers – any audience concerned by these trials but isolated from each other. How can civil society take part in international justice, in new forms, for it to become a platform for cultural invention and no longer just a technical institution reserved for experts?

The text, the product of four years of conversation between Virginie Bobin, Franck Leibovici and Julien Seroussi, is presented as a series, published in several episodes, most of which were written in the fall of 2018, except for a few paragraphs written in the spring of 2019. The text covers the stages of law intensity conflicts carried out between 2014 and 2018.


The Authorbiographies

biographies :

franck leibovici (poet, artist)
has attempted to portray, in the form of exhibitions, performances and publications, so-called “low intensity” conflicts from a documentary point of view by using graphic scores and notation systems from experimental music, dance, linguistics – documents poétiques (al dante, 2007), portraits chinois (al dante, 2007), low intensity conflicts – un mini-opéra pour non musiciens (ed. mf, 2019); has published spam mails, 70-hour speeches and amateur sex tape transcriptions (lettres de jérusalem, 2012; filibuster, jeu de paume, 2013, de l’amour, ed. jean-boîte, 2019); has worked on the ecology of the work of art – (des formes de vie) – une écologie des pratiques artistiques (les laboratories d’aubervilliers / questions théoriques, 2012), des récits ordinaires (les presses du monde / villa arson, 2014), refresh! / collecting live art (tate modern / koenig, 2012-2014), the training – an artwork for later / and after (venice biennale, 2017); is currently working, with julien seroussi, on a new cycle of exhibitions and publications (bogoro, eds. questions théoriques, 2016; muzungu, bunkier sztuki, krakow; ngbk, berlin, 2017; cité internationale des arts, paris, 2018; école nationale de la magistrature, bordeaux, 2019; international criminal court, the hague, 2019-2020) around the invention of contemporary international justice and the first trial of the international criminal court (icc) of the hague.

Julien Seroussi
started taking interest in international criminal justice within the course of his dissertation on legal battles around the definitions of universal jurisdiction of national judges. After and experience at the International Criminal Court from 2009 to 2012, and he carried on  his career within the War Crime Unit of the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris. Recently, he was a member of an official expert group created by the French government on genocidal studies.

Around the text
12 December 2019

Bogoro, l’œuvre-enquête de Franck Leibovici et Julien Seroussi. #2 The Katanga/Ngudjolo trial: a case study

On 24 November 2009, militia leader Germain Katanga appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, which accused him and Mathieu Ngudjolo, another alleged militia leader, of war crimes and crimes against humanity, committed on 24 February 2003 during an attack on the village of Bogoro, in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Katanga/Ngudjolo trial, one of the very first cases to be heard by this young court, began six years after the events that reportedly caused the deaths of at least 200 villagers, imprisonment, mutilation and rape. The DRC is indeed the scene of a civil war that is not over. It is marked by a constellation of conflicts that evolve according to shifting alliances, involving no less than eight neighbouring countries, not to mention the commercial interests of private companies. Eleven years after the Bogoro attack, most of the documentary and testimonial evidence submitted by the prosecutor’s office to support the charges against Katanga and Ngudjolo had collapsed. Ngudjolo was acquitted in 2012, while Katanga, in March 2014, was not convicted as the main perpetrator of the crimes for which he was accused but only as an accomplice, and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

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